Prague: Riding the metro or bus without a ticket

It’s occurred to most of us at one time or another—is it worth buying metro tickets in cities where public transportation ticketing is based on the honor system? Travelers on a budget might consider saving money by “riding black,” and in Prague, at least, they’d have ample company.

A recent study published by Czech newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes found that one in six riders goes without a valid ticket. If you’re caught by one of the city’s plainclothes inspectors and you pay up right away, the penalty is CZK500 (€18; $23).

Of course, riding black goes against the spirit of the system and we don’t recommend it. But knowing the odds is a valuable piece of information, especially in cities with more expensive forms of public transportation. In Prague, you’re better off buying the CZK14 ticket (€.50; $.65) than risking it.

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