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prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

Dubai, United Arab...
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prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

Was just in Prague. Loved it. Only one bummer the whole trip. Went with my wife and two kids up to the palace and took the tram. Bought tickets, climbed on and rode a street tram. As we approached, a guy flipped out a "transportation cop" badge and asked to see my tickets and another ladies ticket. She was a local and had a pass, I handed him my tickets.

Apparently there is some very small print in english only so they catch english speakers, that you are supposed to validate the tickets. How do you do this ? It doesn't say. It turns out there are these very small little boxes (with no writing no them) that you have to insert your ticket to get a time stamp. We had no idea. I explained we bought the tickets 10 minutes before and clearly we weren't trying to rip off the system. All he would say is "these tickets aren't valid. You read english it says you have to validate them." I said, show me where to validate them ?? He showed me the box with no writing. We had seen no one else do it so we didn't know.

Long and short of it, 700 Czech pounds later we were off and running. It is clearly designed to zing american and western european travelers. We got off the tram and heard some other people arguing, a group of six american asians who had done the same thing. It's pay or they call the cops. And the only writing on the ticket is in english, they don't try to get anyone else.

Big moneymaker.

So, lesson learned for 40 dollars american. And a good way for the Czech's to turn off honest tourists. We did buy tickets, we weren't mooching. So Beware... if you ride the trams / buses, buy the tickets and get the stamp from the unmarked box or you too will get nailed. I saw dozens of westerners getting it after that. It's a well planned out market for them.

Prague, Czech...
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21. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

Oh, and they will stop anyone, including Czechs. You're making wild claims based on one experience. They are inaccurate. Why continue?

Berkshire, United...
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for Prague, Bohemia
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22. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

Amen to that

Houston, Texas
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23. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

The same thing happened to my husband and me. The couple with Metro badges treated us like criminals. Originally we thought they were trying to scam us. Like you, saw no one else validating, and believed they would just ask for ours. After being "physically"removed from the tram, and asked to see our passports, they "kindly" let us go, but not before paying 800 kc, so fines for Americans must have risen! I was right, it was a scam, just legally aimed at Westerners by the transit system. Maybe tour books will print this in bold print to warn innocent travelers!

Brno, Czech Republic
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for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
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24. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

No - it is perfectly legal and proper. The reason why you saw nobody else validating is that 90% of locals have monthly or annual passes. You were treated to exactly the same treatment that locals would be treated to. You committed a crime by not validating your tickets and were therefore guilty in the eyes of the law.

All tour books, including your very own Department of State …state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1099.html (under 'public transportation', state this clearly and, as has been written here and elsewhere ad nauseam, it is clearly and "kindly" written on the back of the ticket IN ENGLISH what you have to do.

Accept your punishment and learn for next time.

Edinburgh, United...
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25. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

I use 24hr passes when I travel in Prague ,so only validate it once.As I have said before I have seen plenty of locals getting a hard time of it from the Inspectors.

You broke the law by not validating your ticket therefor you were travelling illegaly and were justifiably fined.

Ignorance of the rulkes is no excuxe and as for being innocent tourist .............. sorry but you were guilty as charged.

maybe the guide books should have a special section for ignorate tourist and I include all nationalities telling them how to validate their tickets and of the fines inposed it they do not follow the rules.

Edited: 15 September 2011, 11:33
Mannheim, Germany
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for Zurich, Mannheim
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26. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

>but not before paying 800 kc, so fines for Americans must have risen! I was right, it was a scam, just legally aimed at Westerners by the transit system.

Yeah, a tourist cannot be wrong, if you broke a law and are fined it is a scam. And everybody has Americans in their crosshairs.

As already stated several times, the only difference between Prague and other Western European cities with the same system is that in Prague you are controlled more often.

San Jose, California
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27. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

The fine in Prague for not having a proper ticket is approximately US$45 - for 2 people. This is not highway robbery. IME, this fine is infinitely reasonable.

The fine in my city for riding transit without a ticket is upwards of US$200 - per person. And trust me, the transit cops don't treat people any better here. The only difference is that you don't have to pay them on the spot. I am willing to bet that a lot of visitors skip out without paying at all and I know for a fact that our city spends a lot of money tracking down deadbeats who do live here to try to get them to pay up.

Prague, Czech...
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28. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

Oh no, it's back from the dead.

Again, just because you don't know how to use something doesn't mean that it's a scam.

sydney australia
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29. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

where were those transport police when I had my wallet stolen!!!!

re validating tkts..I had read about this before I went but I still had to ask local ppl where & what to do. On local trams etc its a machine, on the international trains eg to budapest its a conductor once you board the train. I think a stencilled picture on the machines is a great idea.

Brno, Czech Republic
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30. Re: prague - warning about tram / bus system "police"

They aren't police, but ticket inspectors.

The arrangement on the trai whereby you have your ticket clipped is, presumably, the same the world over.