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Inspectors of Prague Public Transport Scares Foreign Travellers

The good reputation of Prague is not only harmed by dishonest taxi drivers and pickpocket gangs but surprisingly also by ticket controllers on public transport. Quite often visitors to Prague are forced to pay an extra ‘tourist tax’ because of their lack of knowledge of local rules in public transport. Generally, tourists are not aware that tickets must be punched, for example, after entering a tram.

Prague public transport inspectors like to check foreign tourists precisely because they are not aware that their ticket must be punched on many occasions. Information provided on the purchased ticket is not very easy to understand. Unless you have been well informed, it is easy to get confused about using the tickets properly.

Tickets must then be validated at the entrance gates to underground stations, or similarly, in the little orange boxes, you see hanging on poles in buses and trams. You won’t see too many local people validating tickets because they possess a long-term pass.

The Prague public transport authorities deny all accusations that the ticket system is not easy to understand and claim that everything is quite straightforward. Czechtourism, and even the Public Transport Company, constantly register complaints from foreign visitors regarding the inspectors. Those complaints have one thing in common – all highlight that controllers are very rude. According to local law, inspectors have the right to call the police if you fail to provide a valid ticket, and they can force you to wait for the police. Also, be aware that some bus, tram and metro routes (including bus 119 from the airport and tram 22 to Prague Castle), where tourists are likely to be travelling, are more frequently checked by inspectors. Some dishonest inspectors prey on those visitors because they are an easy way to get some extra money by not providing a receipt if a tourist pays the fine (which is very common). Sometimes they will give you the option to pay a smaller fine if you pay on the spot and do not ask for a receipt. On many occasions, tourists do not know their rights and rather pay the fine than become involved in this problem.

Inspectors of Prague Public Transport

For your own safety, please read our article about public transport tickets. Never show anyone your ticket unless it is an inspector showing an official identification badge. There have been reports of ticket controller scams in the past; such fake inspectors asked for a wallet or passport and thus managed to steal money from the victim.

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  1. I’ve been traveling all over Prague for 9 days and never once was asked to validate or even present a ticket. Just hopped in and off of the metro. While I did purchase mobile tickets and activated them it seems that it’s not heavily monitored.

  2. In Prague today for the first time and I bought a ticket at the airport and was told it was valid for 40min. Inspector came on board and said it was not valid, but I told him the seller told me it’s valid for 40 min.

    It’s not clear that you have to scan it to valid it. I had to pay the fine and he would not accept it was my first time in Prague and was an honest mistake. Have barrier like other transport system.

    Prague is a con stay away.

  3. Ticket inspectors are not the only problem. I regularly use the bus stops at Opatova metro. There used to be no smoking signs but not now. Smoking is common and the area around the stops is filthy. No one seems to check. Perhaps some of the ticket inspectors could be used for this.
    Where to complain? The pid website only gives an e-mail for information not for complaints or feedback.

  4. Never had troubles in Prague.. Like other cities (Bruxelles, Paris) you need to punch at each tram, metro or bus your ticket or card.
    Some tourists like to play ball with “language” thinking they will be off a fine in case of control.
    The only trouble I had was in a suburb train to Karlstejn Castle. The reservation online system placed the next day as default return and you must check the return date to be sure you do the go and back in the same day.
    But the control was ok and he let us go. our ticket was paid but for the next day

    So no, ask, get information, learn.. All is written in English and Czech unlike many cities in the world…

  5. What is the way to resolve with this problem if you have not paid fine on the spot and they have given you a note which mentioned your passport details and penalty amount,

  6. While receiving an unfair fine (and I have just read online that it happens often!!), the inspector pushed my boyfriend’s chest to intimidate him or to induce a reaction! I straight ran to tell another officer what happened and luckily he told something in their mother tongue that made him stop! I don’t even want to imagine what could happen otherwise! We were just talking!! And last of all, like this was not enough, the officer told us that we could use the fine as a ticket for today. Not true at all! I luckily had the feeling that it was a lie and I asked another local person to translate what was written on the fine, and it clearly says that it is not usable as a ticket!!! So what? He wanted us to get another fine later in the day?? No words. He did not even want to give us the receipt of the payment. Seriously the worst transport service ever and I can not believe that these individuals still work and still provide this horrible service after ALL the complaints I could find online! I am shocked. I hope someone will investigate on this mess!

  7. Me and my friend got the airport bus from Zlicin where a guy dressed in casual clothing walked on and came up to me and said ‘Ticket’ and I was like, what? he then said ‘TICKET!’ I am like, why? he then started to become rude even though I had a valid ticket and so did my friend, he then showed me his ‘badge’ which looked like a keyring and I said to him ‘that means nothing to me’ as it was all in Czech he then started saying ‘Respect the badge I am a ticket inspector!’ he then walked away then decided to come back and start telling me to respect him once more. Anyway perhaps if they gave proper ID passes in Prague it would be a little less confusing as just flashing a badge which anyone could use isn’t really an acceptable thing in 2018.

  8. Wow, scarey. I travel all over Europe and never had this happen to me. Maybe I will forget Czeck Republic. Oh, I take that back! in Stockholm, they have mafia taxi drivers on one end of the train station, and on the other are normal taxi drivers. You are somehow suppose to know the difference. It was my fault that I had to pay 80 Euro for a 2 kilometer ride, because the tourist info place “warned me.” Aside from having no idea what normal looks like, there is this issue: here is one of the richest countries in Europe, and they ALLOW THIS. They ALLOW IT.

  9. How do you complain to the Prague transportation system? I bought a senior ticket at the airport terminal 3 machine got the 100 bus to Zlicin. The minute I set foot on the metro platform I was pounced on by 2 inspectors demanding to see my ticket and passport. I was marched to a noticeboard which said 60 to 70 years old had to have a PIN card. The Terminal 3 machine at the airport only showed 3 choices, children 0 to 15, adults and senior citizens 60 to 70, no mention of PIN cards. I had to pay a fine of CZK 800 I had to ask 3 times for a receipt which was very reluctantly given!
    On return home I took screen shots of the airport machine selection process, and complained to the Tourist Office who gave me the pid.cz/en web site to make a complaint, but there is no place to make a complaint. I thought under EU rules instructions had to be clear to all EU members, or is it only the England that complies with this rule. I will not be going back to Czech Republic!

  10. Tourist rip off. Got ripped off 800 Krona at the Metro station after getting off the 119 airport bus.
    This is a scam on a national scale. Left me with a very bitter taste… I won’t be coming back to this city and will advise friends not to do so also.
    The 2 inspectors marched me to 2 diff ATM’s to get the money of me.

    • You are right and my parents were caught by two inspectors as well because they didn’t stamp the tickets, they bought the tickets from a yellow box by the helps of a local lady. As the back of the tickets has only Czech and English, they has no idea of “immediate validation”.
      When I picked them up, two inspectors caught them on the tram, we tried to explain that they were tourists and just here for 2 days, they didn’t care, they just wanted money. Money money money… even follow us to cash machine.
      Never again Prague. What a city.

  11. Today on April 23,2016 at Florance metro two very rude, abnoxious and scary inspectors approached us and asked for ticker, we showed our ticket and they said this is not right we should have bought 24 known not 18 crown we only needed one stop and had our time. They scared us talked a lot of BS and took 1600 or owns from us fine800 each. You were disgusting and threatening. If we had no flight to catch we would take you to the police station you are robbers 800% fine????

  12. I just want to inform you that this afternoon we were stopped by the metro controllers at Republiky station for buying the wrong ticket and for not having a passport us. One of them said that he was going to have arrested which made my 8 year old son crying. He also shouted at us and pushed us. Only when my wife paid him 800 kch he let us go. I went to the reception of my hotel and asked the receptionist to come with me and confront that guy. Instead he pushed the two of us out and told me that if I don’t disappear he would call the police again. He refused to give me his name and was very threatening. Is that an acceptable behaviour? I approached a police van on the square and they refused to do anything. They could not care. Can you do something about it? Thank you, Sylvie


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