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The city of České Budějovice is home to many world-famous industrial companies and a major transport junction. It is no wonder, therefore, that it also has adequate demands on urban public transport. There were even times when trams were running here.

The Beginning of the City Public Transport in České Budějovice

To provide the connection between the centre and the railway station - it was a task for the public transport in many cities; at that time, it was mostly provided by the street line - by a tramway. České Budějovice was no exception. The first tramways appeared on the Square of České Budějovice during demonstration drive on 2 December 1908. However, it took a half-year more until the regular service started in the city.

On 15 June 1909, the first route was used starting in front of the brand new building of the railway station in České Budějovice. The street route was of a single track and at the certain distances there were established passing tracks for passing oncoming trains. Behind the bridge over the Mlýnská stoka, the route went through growing Pražské předměstí. The first route was marked with the letter P - according to this name. The terminal station was at the artillery barracks in front of the barriers at the Plzeň stop which does not exist anymore. The total length of the P route was less than three kilometers.

The second route headed to Linecké předměstí then. Therefore the second route was marked with the letter L. The terminal station was at the end of today's Heydukova ulice - at the railway stop again. It was not possible to drive to Linecké předměstí till 16 April 1910 even though both routes were finished at the same time.

The city also needed a direct connection with the cemetery. But the tramway was not allowed to get across two frequent railway crossings, so the passengers in České Budějovice also took a trolleybus for the first time on 27 October 1909! The vehicle from the Daimler-Stoll company did not have bar collectors as we know them today, but trolley wires were taken by a special contact carriage. The then trolleybuses were quite unreliable and five years later, at the beginning of the WWI, their operation was stopped in České Budějovice without any replacement.

In 1925, the street tram route was purchased by the South Bohemian Power Plants. 11 years later, they made the only more significant change in operation. Since 1936, one line was in service between both suburbs and the second one provided the connection from the Square to the railway station. Towards the end of the WWII, the conditions of routes worsened and the tramways slowly became obsolete. It would have not been economical to invest significant finances in their demanding renovation and the construction of new routes which would have provided quality transport to other parts of the city or close villages. So, the decision on their lot was made! Their operations stopped on 2 March 1950!

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Trolleybus Intermezzo...

However, České Budějovice did not remain without public transport. Before the tramways went through the city for the last time, the South Bohemian Power Plants in České Budějovice constructed and gradually put into operation the trolleybus network. On 28 October 1948, a new chapter of the history of the public transport in České Budějovice started. Trolleybuses started moving around the city again. They were not primitive defective vehicles anymore but modern means of transport which were already successfully used in Prague since 1936, during the war in Plzeň and Zlín and later in Most.

The first route in České Budějovice was constructed to Čtyři Dvory and went behind the then city limits. In August 1949, the major part of the new trolleybus network was put into operation. On 1 January 1950, the operation of the public transport in České Budějovice was excluded from the South Bohemian Power Plants and entrusted to the newly established independent Transport Company.

In the following twenty years, trolleybus transport became the backbone of České Budějovice public transport. However, at the end of the 60s, the network was unadvisedly and gradually dampened and the 24th September 1971 was the last day of their service in the city. Their tasks were taken over by buses.



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The Era of Buses...

On 8 September 1951, the Transport Company introduced the first bus route to Mladý because the construction of the intended trolleybus route failed before. During the first years, the buses provided transport on some less frequent routes. They gradually took over the tasks of trolleybuses, so in 1972, in České Budějovice, 11 routes were used in České Budějovice with the total length of 87 kilometers. Towards the end of 1988, the network of bus routes achieved practically two hundred kilometers.

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Repeated Start of Trolleybuses...

The impulse to renew the trolleybus network came from the idea to connect České Budějovice with the Nuclear Power Plant in Temelín. The excessively generous plan was called off; however, the trolleybuses were used in České Budějovice again. This is how there began a new chapter of the chronicle of the public transport in České Budějovice. We can learn here about trolleybuses for the third time.

On 2 May 1991, the residents of České Budějovice started using trolleybuses after twenty years again. The new depot was constructed in Horní ulice. In the following years, the majority of original routes were renewed and the trolleybuses also reached other parts of the city, mainly new housing estates.

The first connection was made between the Station and housing estate Máj and Vltava in the city part of Čtyři Dvory. In June 1992, the service started on the route around the Central Cemetery through Nemanice to Borek and in September of the same year, the first stage of the network construction was finished and the route to Rožnov was put into operation. The beginning of 1966 brought the modernization of a trolleybus route to Suché Vrbné and the construction of a new route to Papírny. However, the construction of the second stage was not still finished. Trolleybuses started running to housing estate Šumava and on 13 April 1998, the route to Strakonická ulice was put into operation. And finally in 2003, there was finished the interconnection between Pražská třída and the railway station to Pekárenská ulice.

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Next Chapter - the Last One so far

A large step forward was the introduction of the new check-in and information system in January 2000. The vehicles were equipped with new on-board computers and ticket stamping machines. There was also put into operation the first complete information system for the blind in the Czech Republic.

Today, the trolleybuses provide transport on 8 routes with 55 vehicles moving off in full operation during working days. Supply of the trolleybus network traction lines with the direct-current of the voltage of 750 is provided by 4 converter stations with remote control from the energetic operations control of the Transport Company. Total installed output of converter stations is 6,400 kilovolt-amperes. Trolley lines are 72 kilometers in length, including manipulation sections. There are installed total 156 switches. Total 153 km of power supply cables are placed in the ground.

There are maintained in the depot 25 articulated trolleybuses of Škoda 15Tr type, 31 low-floor vehicles Škoda 25Tr, 2 low-floor vehicles 27Tr and the historical trolleybus Škoda 9TrHT.

The renewal of trolleybus transport does not mean that the importance of buses would declined. They still provide transport on 14 routes with the total length of 165 kilometer. During working days, 58 vehicles move off to the streets driving to 14 suburban villages and two towns.

The vehicle fleet of MHD buses contains low-floor vehicles Iveco Citelis, Iveco Crossway LE City, Solaris Urbino, Karosa Renault Citybus and Karosa of the range B 7xx a B 9xx.

In 2004, the operation of night service was renewed after 12 years. Today, night service is provided with two trolleybus lines no. 53 and 59.

Trolleybus and bus lines of the Transport Company in České Budějoivce transfer more than 100 thousand passengers every day. České Budějovice is the only city in South Bohemia with the transport provided not only with buses but also with the means of electrical traction - trolleybuses. Their operation is a significant contribution to the improvement of the environment.

In 2014, the city public transport in České Budějovice celebrated its 105th birthday. During this period, it rightfully became the essential part of infrastructure. Throughout the years, the České Budějovice buses and trolleybuses have transported millions of passengers, and significantly contributed to the development of the city.


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