Publication date: 
The Faculty of Transportation Sciences of CTU in Prague, as part of its dual-degree program Smart Cities, has now expanded its cooperation with CITYA and launched a joint project in the USA, which aims to implement the concept of operational public transport into the American transport system.

The competitiveness of public transport is one of the key areas that Faculty of Transportation Sciences of CTU in Prague has been dealing with for a long time. While passengers demand frequent intervals and travel comfort, operators struggle with economic efficiency with low occupancy rates on off-peak services or to the outskirts of cities and populated areas. For this reason, the faculty has teamed up with start-up CITYA, whose Operational Public Transport concept offers solutions using state-of-the-art technology.

Operational public transport is an alternative to conventional public transport and is based on current passenger demand. It is suitable wherever a conventional bus or train service cannot be effective in principle. Start-up CITYA has come up with a solution whereby using a minibus, a smart algorithm offers passengers a virtual stop no more than a few dozen metres away from their current location. The journey is then dynamically recalculated in real time according to the current demand and the platform continuously picks up and drops off passengers travelling in a similar direction. As a result, this unique concept is able to serve a relatively wide region very efficiently and cheaply. Currently, this public transport concept is operating in Říčany, and dozens of other implementations are in the pipeline in cities and regions in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and recently in the USA.

Doc. Tomáš Horák, who is the guarantor of the SC dual-degree programme and currently works at the American University of Texas at UTEP, where he also lectures in Transport Engineering, sees great potential in this concept. "There is an abysmal difference between the quality of public transport in the Czech Republic and the USA. The use of modern technologies offered by the CITYA platform offers great potential for the use of public transport, even for such bastions of individual car transport as the United States. Another important factor for the success of the currently launched project is the fact that Texas is a primary area of interest for the Czech Republic, due to its historical development and the fact that the largest Czech diaspora is located here. Last but not least, it is the openness of Texas to entrepreneurship and modern forms of business. This is evidenced, for example, by another technology company, Tesla, which has relocated all its activities to Austin, Texas."

The fact that the U.S. is one of the best environments for collaboration between cities, universities and companies was the reason why CITYA decided to invest in this joint project.

"CITYA owes its success, among other things, to scientists and the smartest people across our fields of interest. Supporting scientists and academic activity comes naturally to us. CTU has been working with us for a long time and thanks to CITYA, the university knows the enormous potential of operational mass transit, which it can pass on to the US," says CITYA founder and CEO Dominik Janík. "That's why we welcomed the opportunity to work directly with Assoc. Horák, who is currently working in the USA. We see a huge business potential in Texas. There are more than 24,000 students on the UTEP campus, as well as three dormitory complexes, dozens of sports facilities, a theatre and a concert hall. There are three buses that cannot be relied upon. No one wants to walk in the 40-degree desert, so most of them drive. As a result, the main roads along the campus are often clogged, and the university is constantly struggling with a lack of parking. El Paso is also a border city with Mexico, and more than 10,000 people cross here legally in both directions to work or study every day, but public transportation does not work at all. CITYA and our public transport platform can help with all this," adds Dominik Janík.

For more information about the Faculty of Transportation Sciences of CTU in Prague, see and about the concept of operational public transport, see CITYA's website

Contact person: 
Ing. Petra Skolilová, Ph.D.