The Sustainable Mobility Plan for Prague and its environs is ready
Compared to comparable cities, Prague excels with its high proportion of public transport and relatively low price for such transport. Conversely, it lags behind in terms of the proportion of cycling and modern forms of mobility (sharing, alternative propulsion, P&R scheme). Comparable is the situation in the area of congestion, parking regulation and promotion of mobility services. Each day, the Prague transport system serves approx. 1.8 million inhabitants and visitors to the city. Intracity trips predominate (84%), but the proportion of trips outside the city (15%) is growing. The number of trips taken per Prague resident is steadily growing and is currently at 3.57 trips per day on average. The transport behaviour of the city inhabitants and visitors differs in terms of division of transport work: whereas Prague residents most often choose public transport (48%), walking (29%) and automobile transport (23%), visitors from the surroundings of Prague come to the city primarily by car (45%) and only then by public transport (36%). Planned transport in Prague and its surroundings is procedurally complex. A complication is the marked decentralisation of local governments (57 municipal districts), unfinalized property settlements (on the level of public administration and in external relations) and the overlap of powers of some institutions (e.g., in the management of transport or in public space). Transport regularly constitutes 35-40% of budgetary expenditures of Prague, making it the most expensive item. Nevertheless, investment in reconstruction of roads, bridges and tunnels is still insufficient. Annual coverage of losses from the operation of public transport is a significant cost (approx. CZK 13 billion). Playing a pivotal role in public transport is Prague Integrated Transport (PID), which allows travel on one network, one ticket and one timetable. Each year, PID transports 1.3 billion passengers, with the metro, trams and buses sharing the burden more or less equally (about 30% each), followed by rail (5%). The number of travellers continues to grow. Among the most chronic problems of the PID network is insufficiently developed rail infrastructure to the Central Bohemian Region and congestion on the road network, which impact the reliability of the bus service. The public transport network also suffers from unsatisfactory transfer points, poor pedestrian access or persistent lack of barrier-free access to certain stations and stops. In the Prague public transport network, metro line C is at the upper limits of transport capacity and, for the tram network, the area around Charles Square in particular is at a breaking point. In the last few years, the technical condition of tram tracks and rolling stock has improved; however, expansion of rail transport to areas of high demand has been unsuccessful, with buses being deployed to cover demand. P+R lots have only 3000 spots; therefore, many are already full early in the morning. “Uncontrolled parking” around metro stations has been reduced to a significant degree by expanding the paid parking zones, but without the addition of P+R lots in Prague or the Central Bohemian Region. In the area of active transport, there is a slight increase in the use of bicycles to get around the city. A network of pedestrian and cycling paths is missing in the suburbs of Prague and is not sufficiently connected to the Central Bohemian Region. The built-up areas of the compact city then suffer from a lack of coherence of cycling measures on main routes. Prague excels with a high degree of automobilization (584 vehicles per 1000 inhabitants), which ranks it near the top in Europe. On average, the car occupancy rate is 1.3 persons, and car size is growing. The transport burden on the central city ring has been falling over the past 15 years but increasing in the suburbs of Prague. Overall transport performance is rather stagnant. A burdensome problem for Prague is the slow construction of the superior road network. The development of infrastructure generally is failing to respond at the same rate as the construction of buildings in the city suburbs. Use of the network (including the newly built sections of the ring roads) is often at the limits of capacity without maintaining a reserve, which is causing increased sensitivity to extraordinary situations (accidents, closures). In the area of the transport of goods, it is necessary to deal with the organisation of parking in designated parking spots for supply vehicles. In Prague, relatively extensive regulation of freight vehicles is applied; nevertheless, the movement of freight vehicles around Prague is greater than necessary due to the incomplete Outer Ring Road.