The first two platforms at Zličín Station are restricted to commuters, beginning September 8, for the installation of automatic doors in an attempt to cease the growing cases of passengers falling onto the platform.
The pilot phase of this project aims to construct an automatic wall module that covers half of the first train. Only two out of six platform doors at the selected Zličín Station are being scrutinized to optimize the test trial while minimizing the inconvenience to commuters. The construction will last until the end of October, after which the trial will begin.
“In October, we plan to initiate test operations of the first two modules, which will still be under construction and therefore not carrying passengers. This phase aims to verify the correct functioning of various operational parameters, including communication and control elements, connections, and transmissions to the DPP technological network or the control dispatch room,” says the spokesman for Praha Public Transit Company (DPP) Daniel Šabík in Zdopravy.cz.
A blind passenger and her dog fell into the metro railway at Nové Butovice Station last June, sparking a wave of new safety protocols from the DPP. The implementation of the security wall is a precautionary measure to prevent passengers from entering the train tracks accidentally or deliberately.
“I think this [the installation of automatic doors] is a very good move from the city,” says Sabina Zhaxelekova, an AAU student and local Czech resident. “From my experience living in Prague for so long, there is such a big drinking culture that is so prone to accidents. Even the tourists here party too hard and end up getting hurt from fooling around at the platforms.”
AZD Praha was chosen to be the prime contractor, overseeing the construction and operation throughout the pilot phase. The decision to entrust the project to an all-Czech automation company assures those concerned about the quality and longevity of the installation. Zličín Station was selected for the test trial due to its proximity to the transportation depot, which guarantees an immediate response in case of technical malfunctions.
Although it was met with major approval from the public, the project still received some criticism regarding its budget and aesthetic. Novotný, a citizen attendant at the DPP’s town hall, raises his concern:
“It seems to me an unnecessary investment and a reduction of space from a visual point of view. You can do without the doors. Many countries still survive without them.”
The potential success of the platform doors trial will launch Prague’s transportation system into a new era of automation, as the plan for a fully computerized, human-free C-line and D-line (still under construction) is already underway.