The passengers are shuttled to Václav Havel airport from Monday by 25-metre-long bus Van Hool AGG 300, which can accommodate up to two hundred people. The curiosity is here that the engine is placed in front of the second axle and seats are jointed, so they are moving during the drive.
And so a four-month trial operation began on line 119, which runs from the stop Station Veleslavín to the Václav Havel airport.
However, on the same day there was a malfunction in the air conditioning and the bus was given a tow into the garage Řepy.
The bus is the longest one that has ever driven through Prague, and one of the biggest ones that has ever driven in Europe. Prague had to get an exception to be able to use it.
“The initial impressions from the drive are positive so far. The bus had not experienced any problems at stops or bus turntables. Due to its length it attracts the attention of the public,” a spokesman for the transport company Jiří Štábl.
The inside looks like the other articulated buses which normally run in Prague; it has air conditioning and the possibility to connect to wi-fi, only it is longer.
However, to drive a 25-metre-long bus does not present much of a challenge; it is said that driving it is similar to driving an ordinary articulated bus.
“If you drive a regular articulated bus there is no need for specific skills. But it is definitely something different; it’s a change, an experience,” said bus driver Paul Kabourek.
Probably the biggest change is in the structure of the bus itself. “The engine is stored in front of the second axle, so while the others push you, on this bus it is as if you were carried,” Kabourek described his impression.
If the four-month operation proves itself, the transportation company plans to purchase several such buses.
The bus was manufactured in 2010; before its arrival in Prague, its whole engine was swapped. “Here in Prague there was a malfunction in the heating and there was a need to replace the heating circuit pump. Due to the weather conditions and the minus temperatures, we decided to park the Van Hool,” stated Jan Starosta, the executive director of Unitesta company.