In February 2016, the Václav Havel Airport in Prague will conduct a two-week trial operation of a twenty-one meter bus. It will be deployed on line 119 between the Nádraží Veleslavín subway station and the airport on 10-19 February.
“It is one way to solve the difficult situation with transporting passengers to the airport until we manage to build an airport rail link,” said Filip Drápal, spokesman for Ropid, which organizes public transport in the city. Besides a Mercedes bus, Ropid wants to try double-articulated buses. “We are looking for a solution to offer passengers greater capacity and comfort,” he added.
The public city transport can not cope with the onslaught of tourists, especially in the high season. People are often squeezed in crowded buses. Passengers, therefore, opt for transporting themselves in their own cars or use a taxi service. “We will see which type of bus will prove best and which one the local-government of Prague will decided for,” said the spokesman. According to him, it is not yet possible to say when the people will experience the new buses in normal traffic.
Articulated buses, which are 19 meters long, are currently running on Line 119. According to Drápal, the manufacturer of the twenty-one meter buses would have to negotiate with the Ministry of Transport to make an exception for operation in the Czech Republic.
The issue of a new rail link has been addressed since the 90s, and the situation has not changed since then. It is still not in the foreseeable future, perhaps within a ten to twenty year horizon. There are still no results, however. The Ministry of Transport hasn’t even chosen an option of how and where the link will lead.
The number of passengers at Prague’s largest airport had risen by almost eight percent in 2015, whereby twelve-million boundary was exceeded. Nearly 128,000 aircraft transported passengers to Prague. According to dispatchers, aircraft throughout the Czech airspace transported a total of 117 million people in 2016.