In early February, the Prague Public Transport Company (DPP) launched a new trolleybus, line 58, connecting Palmovka, Čakovice, and Miškovice, replacing the previous bus, line 140. However, due to ongoing issues with the delivered vehicles, diesel buses still transport passengers.
Most of the 15 vehicles won in a tender two years ago grapple with deficiencies or other shortcomings. After some delay, the manufacturer delivered these vehicles to the company at the end of last year. Due to the late deliveries, DPP has charged the manufacturer with a contractual penalty of 56 million crowns, and the manufacturer must also repair the current defects.
Despite the manufacturer delivering the vehicles, many still face issues and are not roadworthy. According to Daniel Šabík, the head of the DPP’s communication department, only seven problem-free trolleybuses were expected to hit the road in early February. However, even some of these had issues, so passengers could only ride a few of them, with the rest temporarily covered by retiring diesel buses that the company kept in reserve.
The head of the DPP Bus Unit, Jan Barchánek, hopes that the manufacturer will be able to rectify the problems during the spring holidays. This would allow all the new trolleybuses to hit the road after the holidays, i.e., from February 19. Many articulated buses currently deployed on the line will be 15 years old this year, the maximum permitted age of a bus in Prague’s public transport.
In conclusion, the situation with the new trolleybus line showcases the challenges of transitioning to more environmentally friendly public transport options. It emphasizes the importance of reliable manufacturing and delivery to ensure a smooth transition and maintain public satisfaction.