Record-breaking 80 Millionth Passenger Rides Prague’s Petrin Funicular

Richard Horák

The Petrin Funicular in Prague celebrated its 80 millionth passenger on Thursday, marking a milestone in the 132-year history of the cable car. Mrs. Petra from Most was honored to be the 80 millionth passenger to ride the funicular, which has transported over 1 million riders so far this year.

The public transportation company DPP, which operates the funicular, reported a record number of passengers was reached in 2019, with over 2.23 million people riding the cable car. The funicular opened in the summer of 1891 for the Jubilee Provincial Exhibition.

The general director of DPP, Petr Witowski, announced that 70 million passengers were transported by the funicular almost precisely five years ago in July 2018 and 60 million passengers in August 2013, meaning that the last 20 million, a quarter of all passengers over the funicular’s history, have been transported to or from Petrin during the previous ten years.

In 2017, the funicular exceeded two million passengers per year for the first time, with precisely 66,000 more people than in the previous year. In 2019, the funicular reached a record number of riders with 2.23 million people, while the number of riders in 2020 dropped to around 1.01 million due to COVID-19 measures. The funicular had the most rides in the last ten years in 2014, with 48,052.

The Petrin Funicular will undergo regular autumn maintenance from October 9th to 27th, during which DPP will replace the traction rope and make necessary repairs to the track. Petrin Hill is unstable, so DPP and statics measure its movement and impacts on the way roughly weekly.

“The lifespan of both vehicles and the track is approaching its limit. Therefore, we began preparing for the renewal of vehicles and the reconstruction of the track almost four years ago. The winning design for the new vehicle’s appearance came from a design competition, and we are now completing a public contract for their manufacturer,” said DPP’s technical director, Jan Šurovský. The company will still announce a tender for repair contractors later this year.