Prague is one of the fifty largest airports in Europe, but it is the only one of them without a railway connection. Despite it being a priority of the government, there won’t be any metro or trains in the west end of the capital city for at least another ten years. That is why the longest buses made go to and from the airport. Their capacity was tested by high school students on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, two of the longest buses made were standing next to each other on the Prague Public Transport Company grounds on the west end of the metropolis. Van Hool measures 25 meters, Mercedes (which has been transporting travelers traveling from Veleslavín to the airport since last week – see article here) is only four meters shorter. Prague is debating whether to purchase one of the buses.
The reason behind it is the Václav Havel Airport. Most people who have had to travel from Prague by plane have encountered problems with parking, metro stations without escalators, and overflowing buses.
Before the metropolis posts a tender, buses must undergo tests to find out how many people each of them can actually fit.
That is why three hundred students from a secondary school of transport tested the capacity of the buses on Tuesday.
“The transport standard is a hundred and twenty people,” revealed Director of Urban Transport Department Martin Fafejta to the Ropid company, which organizes public transport in the metropolis.
During the testing, Van Hool fit 220 travelers inside. The official number from the manufacturer is 182 passengers. About 195 people fit in Mercedes during the testing.
“The numbers aren’t final, we’ll do more tests with there being less seats and more space for passengers or their luggage,” added Fafejta.
The average city articulated bus can fit 90 passengers.
According to Martin Šubrt, Ropid’s Assistant Director, long buses are the future of public transport. They are being tested on key routes – aside from the airport it is for example the ZOO. They could also partially fix the problem with lack of drivers; Prague is currently in need of 10% more of them.
Passengers get transported to the airport by the longest bus in Europe.