The late fine for using Prague’s public transport system without a ticket is set to increase in January from CZK 1,000 to 1,500, City Hall officials decided on Tuesday. However, if offenders pay inspectors on the spot, or at the headquarters of the transport authority within 15 days, the current fine of CZK 800 will still apply.
The Prague metro’s special meeting train cars, meant for people looking for friends or partners, was not deemed a big success by most media outlets on the first weekend of the project. Most journalists who tried out the special cars on the A line said that the project was badly advertised and the cars were not marked, so most people did not know about their significance. Additionally, the a large percentage of people taking the A line, especially over the weekend, are tourists. Earlier, the transit authority, which refers to the cars as “communication carriages”, has backed down on its original plan to designate the carriages strictly for people looking for new partners.
The Prague transit authority will on Saturday inaugurate metro carriages designated for singles, the company’s CEO Jaroslav Ďuriš told reporters. The middle carriage on each train running on the metro’s A line will offer single people a chance to chat and meet other singles on Saturdays between 10 AM and 10 PM, Mr Ďuriš said. The carriages will have no special signs; instead, passengers will be informed by boards placed in metro stations. The transit authority, which refers to the cars as “communication carriages”, has backed down on its original plan to designate the carriages strictly for people looking for new partners.
The Czech machinery firm Škoda Transportation has won a contract to service trams in the Sardinian city of Cagliari, a spokeswoman for the company said. Under the five-year contract, worth 87 million crowns or 4.3 million US dollars, Škoda Transportation will provide complex servicing of the Italian city’s trams. In 2004, Škoda Transportation supplied nine low-floor tramways and 16 trolleybuses to the city.
The Transport Ministry has ruled that Prague’s transit authority had broken the law when selecting a company for the expansion of the A line of the city’s subway system. The ministry has decided not to dispense 4.2 billion crowns of the 15.6 billion which were allotted for the project from EU funding. According to the news server Aktuálně.cz, this is the biggest de facto fine in the history of EU structural funds.
The Czech Supreme Audit Office has put out a joint analysis with its German counterpart of the prices of road constructions in the two countries. The results, which were published on Thursdazy, show that the construction of one kilometer of a road is more than 25 percent more expensive than in Germany. The report also made recommendations, which are meant to save up to 20 percent of the costs. Based on the experiences of the neighboring country, the Czech audit authorities recommend having a greater number of open tenders as well as breaking up large projects into smaller parts, and giving them to different companies. The report claims that if these rules were used, for example, in the construction of the Prague ring road, it would have saved the Road Authoritz at lest 790 million crowns.
The section between Kačerov and Háje on the C line of the Prague metro will be closed for track maintenance for the first two weekends in November, the Prague city transport authority has announced. The closures will take place from Friday evening 6pm till early Monday morning. Replacement busses will be available along the given stretch. Information will be available at each station in English and German.
Former Prague mayor Pavel Bém on Tuesday testified before a city court dealing with the case of the multi-purpose Opencard project that provides access to public services. Mr. Bém rejected the claim that the project had been severely overpriced, a conclusion reached by independent auditors. Five of his former subordinates have been charged with abuse of office and violating public procurement rules in connection with the case. Prosecution argues that the contracts signed were highly disadvantageous for Prague and squandered tens of millions of crowns form public funds.
A maintenance train stopped traffic along the main rail corridor from Bohemia to Moravia on Tuesday morning after going through a red light. The security system automatically blocked all traffic in both directions. A spokesman for Czech Railways said there had been no danger to passengers and the incident was being investigated. The hour long-delay has affected Eurocity, intercity and local connections.
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