I love the Prague public transport system, coming from a rural village in England, I am continually amazed at just well it all works. Back in Lambourn we have a rudimentary bus system, the local town is 15 miles away, with a supermarket, cinema, hospital and shops, the last bus comes in at 6pm, there is nothing after that. I continue to be impressed that there are so many options here in Prague.
I was out and about delivering sandwiches to the homeless young lads in Prague, a few of us do it on a Friday as some of the shelters do not receive leftovers from shops during the weekend, so food is in short supply and sandwiches can last a while and be easily distributed and taken away and eaten. After a stroll around Zizkov doing all the good stuff, it was time to get the tram home.
My tram was driven by a man who looked like our stereotypical image of Jesus with long hair, blue eyes, unshaven leaving a lightly bearded face. This did give me some sense of comfort as the tram hurtles along the iron tracks with cars and pedestrians dodging out of the way. I sat at the front, not knowing I was sat above the bell that the driver sounds when ever something in is in the way of the tram. It is like the sound of the bell they use to start boxing matches but really fast. When sat above it, you feel the vibrations. This made me smile, having never chosen this seat and suddenly feeling the vibrations, I chuckled to myself, then looked up and saw a Nun who’s gaze I caught. I think she thought something more perverted was occurring, which it wasn’t however I instantly felt guilty, especially considering Jesus was driving the tram!
We have buses, metro and trams, all clean and reliable but also very busy. Yesterday I made a man who was once Mayor of Prague. He was giving a talk to about 20 of us over dinner at a hotel in Prague. He mentioned the transport and just how much it is subsidised which is quite a lot. The idea of smarter, cleaner and greener transport is something he felt very strongly about. He was frustrated that as great as the system is, you still need to get a bus from the airport into town. He had proposed a light railway, like a monorail, which they built in Dubai whilst we were living there. In Dubai, where fuel is so cheap and the heat of day extreme, a walk to your nearest metro station is a bit of a joke, so everyone who has a car still drives it. In Prague with the hundreds of thousands of tourists that arrive, it would be a great idea. However, it remains the stuff of dreams at the moment. I will continue to punch my tickets and work out via google which tram, bus and metro I need to get to where ever and take a taxi to and from the airport.