Transport in 202131/12/2020|Press releasesThe highest amount of investments into transport infrastructure ever, adoption of a so-called Linear Act, launch of a PPP project on D4 motorway or introduction of an electronic vignette and a single tariff system on the Czech railway. These events will represent the year 2021 in transport. This time, new projects aim to speed up improvement of roads, make Ministry’s agenda digital and strengthen the role of passenger transport on the Czech railway. Record investments into transport, record SFDI budget In 2021, we will continue to increase the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure (SFDI) budget. We wish to reach a record amount of CZK 128 bn. We plan to make total investment of CZK 83 billion and CZK 44.5 billion will be spent on reconstruction and maintenance of roads and railways. The budget can be increased also in 2021. In 2020, the SFDI budget was increased from CZK 83 billion to invested CZK 121 billion. Motorways and roads In 2021, we will open 46.5 km of new motorways: • For example, two new sections of D11 from Hradec Králové to Jaroměř; • D35 from Opatovice to Časy; • D6 bypass Lubenec or bypass Otrokovice on D55. Ongoing construction We are currently constructing 218.2 km of motorways and 1st class roads: 106.4 km of motorways on green fields – D11 by Hradec Králové, D3 by České Budějovice, D35 by Pardubice, D48 by Frýdek-Místek and D55 by Moravský Písek and Otrokovice; 55.1 km of modernized D1; 56.7 km of 1st class roads – Brno ring-Žabovřeská Street, crossroad Rádelský Mlýn in Liberecký region, bypass Opava, Havlíčkův Brod, Karviná or Krnov. Modernization of D1 The modernization of D1 will be completed in autumn 2021, 55 km is remaining. The ongoing construction is taking place on 5 sections, which will be completed in October 2021. Already 110 km of D1 has been modernized, ongoing works take place on 50 kilometres. More details can be found on an interactive map of the Ministry. Modernization of D1 – 20 sections State Number of sections Kilometres Open 15 111 In construction 5 55.1 In preparation 0 0 PPP project on D4 The selection of DIVia, consortium of companies VINCI Highways SAS, VINCI Concessions SAS and Meridiam Investments SAS, is final. In the first half of January, the government should approve the concession agreements, which will be subsequently submitted to the Chamber of Deputies for approval. The committees will discuss the agreement at the end of January or beginning of February. The agreement should be discussed by the Chamber of Deputies in February. After its approval, all parties will sign it and DIVia will begin with the construction in spring 2021. The construction concerns 32 km of D4 motorway between Příbram and Písek, i.e. sections from Háje to Mirotice. It will be a first PPP project ever to be used in the Czech Republic in terms of infrastructure financing. The winning concessionaire will finance and maintain the motorway for 25 years. Railways We will continue with the first phase of a plan to make Czech railways safer by 2025/2030. A total of CZK 90 billion will be invested into ETCS and GSM-R communication standard. Správa železnic (the national railway infrastructure manager) is prepared to work with a budget of CZK 53.074 billion in 2021, out of which CZK 21.828 billion will be spent on maintenance and reconstruction of rails/railway stations and CZK 31.246 billion on investments. The 2021 budget is increased by CZK 1.5 billion compared to 2020. Works on the electrification of the railway from Olomouc to Uničov continue. In December 2020, the section from Olomouc to Šternberk was opened. Among the most important constructions is the launched modernization of railway route Mstětice – Praha-Vysočany. A new station, Rajská zahrada, will be opened on this railway route with an access to the underground and the station Praha-Vysočany will be renewed. The total costs will reach CZK 5.4 billion. Also, the modernization of the rail junction Pardubice costing CZK 6.35 billion will continue. A new bridge leading to the other side of the city should be constructed and the station should be accessible for persons with reduced mobility. Also, the long awaited electrification of the railway route Brno – Zastávka u Brna for CZK 2.7 billion, the reconstruction of rail junction Přerov or the works on the 4th corridor to České Budějovice will continue. In 2021, a total of 114 railway buildings in the Czech Republic will be reconstructed. Ongoing works are taking place for example in Fantova building on the Prague Main Station or on a building in Havířov. Also, stations in Vsetín, Cheb and Tábor will be reconstructed, as well as the Smíchov station in Prague. Works will also begin on 2 sections on railway route Prague – Kladno with a turning point towards Prague Airport, i.e. Kladno – Kladno-Ostrovec and Praha-Bubny – Praha-Výstaviště. In 2021, the safety of 170 level crossings will be increased (adding video cameras and crossing barriers with LED diodes). We speeded up the process by 5 years; we will secure 500 most dangerous level crossings by the end of 2022 (originally planned by 2027). More information can be found on an interactive map provided by Správa železnic. Charging roads in the Czech Republic From 1 January 2021, the network of charged roads will be extended by newly opened sections of D48 (Rybí – Příbor Východ in a total length of 11.53 km) and D6 (Nové Strašecí – Krušovice in a total length of 9.8 km). A new amendment to the Act on Road Communications enters into force on 1 January 2021. It will simplify the payment of time tolls for the use of charged roads (electronic vignette) and make the subsequent control (via so-called video tolling) more efficient. On the same day, a three-part toll structure will be introduced. It will newly include a charge for traffic and noise pollution on charged roads. It will also set new rates of time toll for vehicles powered by natural gas or bio methane. More information are available on the e-vignette website and toll system website. Introduction of an electronic vignette New electronic vignettes for 2021 are available for purchase. Annual paper vignettes are valid until the end of January. A new feature allows to set a start date of validity up to 90 days ahead. The main selling point is via e-shop on www.edalnice.cz. The price remains the same – 1-year vignette will cost CZK 1,500, 1-month vignette is for CZK 440 and 10 days vignette for CZK 310. It is also newly possible to make a bulk purchase, for example for businesses with a car fleet. Launch of a single tariff system OneTicket With national change of railway timetables on 13 December 2020, the passengers on Czech railway were introduced to a new tariff system OneTicket. OneTicket brings benefits to passengers using services of more railway carriers or changing carriers on their route to reach their destination. It is a single ticket, which can be used across railway carriers operating on the Czech market. In the course of the year, carriers will offer an option to use this ticket even on commercial connections between Prague and Ostrava. Passengers can chose whether they want to buy a paper OneTicket at a ticket office or directly in the train, or to purchase an electronic version via e-shop on oneticket.cz or in a mobile app. When buying OneTicket on the e-shop or in the mobile app, the passenger will chose their route and the day of journey, enters their full name and process to payment. One of the biggest advantage is an option to register. Registered user has all of their purchases and tickets under control, whether they were done online or in an app. Passengers do not have to print electronic tickets purchased via the app, they just need to show it on their screen in the train. OneTicket can be also used by disabled persons as a single contact point to request assistance. New legislation for drones A new legislation amending operation of drones entered into force on 31 December 2020. After a registration in a new registry kept by the Civil Aviation Authority, the drone operators will receive a unique identification number, which they will then use to label all of their drones. The mandatory registration will affect most persons operating drones with a weight over 250 g or a recording device regardless of its weight. In most cases, the registration can be done online without a need to report to the Civil Aviation Authority and will be free of charge. Three basic categories of drones with different level of regulation will be introduced. The lowest, open, category will allow operating a drone without a previous authorisation from the authority regardless other restrictions and requirements, e.g. on pilots training etc. The middle, specific, category will allow operating drones for those who need to overstep some limits from the open category. The most strictly regulated, certified, category is intended for a sophisticated use in the future. Linear Act The amendment to act on accelerating the construction of transport, water and energy infrastructure, so-called Linear Act, enters into force on 1 January 2021. The aim is to shorten the time needed for preparation of strategic transport infrastructure by third or half, even for example from existing 13 years. The amendment aims to simplify the authorisation procedure, which often blocks early initiation of the construction. An important tool to accelerate the preparation process is the option to file and authorise the transport construction in one proceeding by the basis of less documentation and one inspection. The amendment also introduces a uniform binding opinion to construction intentions, which were subject of an environmental impact assessment. In such cases, only one binding opinion will be issued replacing all other administrative acts issued according to the act on conservation of nature and landscape thus accelerating the preparation of a construction by one year. The amendment also considers introduction of a fixed deadline to issue binding opinions. It will be set to a maximum length of 30 days, or 60 days in especially complicated cases. If the opinion is not issued in time, the amendment allows a so-called fiction of approval. Amendment to act on operation of vehicles on roads This amendment should enter into force on 1 July 2021. Apart from the implementation of EU legislation concerning approval of vehicles, which constitutes a core of the amended act, the adoption will allow to process actions concerning registration of road vehicles without a mandatory registration inspection by owners or operators of the vehicles if those inspections were done in a period of 2 years before filing a registration request. It will also allow to submit the request electronically (without a need to report to an authority) or in case of owner/operator change filing a joint request by individual submissions.