Brno City Transport Company
Dopravní podnik města Brna, a. s., is a joint-stock company of the Statutory City of Brno. Our main mission is to ensure the operation of public transport in the City of Brno and to provide its residents and visitors with comfortable and fast transport around Brno.
In addition to tram, bus and trolleybus service, we also operate boat transport on the Brno Dam. As a legacy for future generations, we manage and continually expand our collection of historic and retro vehicles that passengers can ride on regular seasonal lines or rent for private trips.
Our vision and policy
We are dedicated to our passengers
Our daily effort is to safely, reliably and comfortably transport passengers around Brno. We want to help keep customers interested in public transport with our services.
We are dedicated to our employees
The most valuable benefit of the Brno City Transport Company is the knowledge and skills of our employees. We therefore support them in their personal growth and ensure that their professional skills improve. We offer a number of benefits to our employees and their families.
We are dedicated to Brno
We provide 24/7 transport services in Brno. We are constantly expanding our services and responding promptly to extraordinary events so that Brno and its residents can rely on us at all times.
The era of horse-drawn trams (1869–1881)
Public transport in Brno began on 17 August 1869 with the operation of the first horse-drawn tramway in Czech lands. Brno was the third city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire after Vienna and Budapest. Six cars operated on the first line from Moravské náměstí to Královo Pole every 15 minutes. In 1870, there were 52 cars, which carried passengers on four lines, and one freight siding in operation. Three depots were part of this network, namely in Pisárky, Královo Pole (in front of today’s Semilass) and Raduitova (Marešova) Street. The horse-drawn tramway was operated in Brno, with an interruption between 1875 and 1876, until 1881, when it was discontinued due to unprofitability.
Steam-powered transport (1884–1899)
Operation of the steam-powered tramway started on 24 May 1884 on the line Pisárky – Královo Pole. The same year, another line between Václavská and Ústřední hřbitov opened. A total of 15 locomotives and 31 trailers were gradually put into operation. Two years later, a new company was founded. Steam-powered transport remained even after the electrification of public transport. The number of steam locomotives was reduced to only four, which served in freight sidings and could only be included in passenger transport during power cuts or to cope with increased traffic on Sundays and holidays. The last of the steam locomotives, Caroline (now an exhibit at the Technical Museum in Brno), pulled railway freight cars through the city streets until February 1926, when it was transferred to the Zbrojovka siding, connected directly to the Czechoslovak railway network. This marked the end of the first stage of steam-powered transport on the tracks of Brno street transport. The second stage took place in the 1940s after the local track Brno – Líšeň became part of the Brno Electric Tramway Company.
Electric transport (since 1900)
The construction of the electric tramway began in 1900 and the operation started on 21 June of the same year. At the end of 1903, the transport company had 5 lines, which were distinguished by different colours. It was not until 1913 that Brno switched to numerical system as we know it today.
In the early years, the electric tram service was very popular. In 1900, the cars carried one million passengers; in 1905, the number was seven times higher. In the following years, 1905–1910, passenger interest stagnated. Freight transport continued to be an important source of revenue.
The rolling stock consisted of 41 motor cars and 12 trailers, as well as another 29 trailers gradually modified from the horse and steam tramway periods. The old depot in Pisárky was converted for electric service and a new depot was built in Královo Pole, which currently serves as a substation.
The wartime years affected the deterioration of the technical condition of the tracks and vehicles. Brno therefore started a major modernisation. The 1920s and 1930s were a period of rapid development of electric tramways and the expansion of tram lines to the suburbs of Brno. In 1925, the first trams on the new line went to Řečkovice, and to Juliánov a year later. The extension of the lines was related to the extensive deliveries of new motor cars, for which a new depot was built in Husovice in 1926.
As the transport system developed, the demands on the traction power supply network increased. Initially, the overhead line was fed from the rectifier station of the city power station in Radlas. In the following years, two new substations with fully automated operation were built – Tábor (1926) and Křížová (1928).
In connection with the post-war development of transport, a decision was made in 1929 to introduce three bus lines in addition to the tram service. They operated where it would have been costly or technically complicated to build tram lines. In 1930, the first three buses set out on Line A. While the first line had a purely urban character, the others served mainly to connect more distant suburbs or adjacent villages with the terminal stations of the electric tramway. By the end of 1938, there were 11 bus lines. The vehicles were housed in modern garages in Grmelova Street.
The Second World War once again significantly affected the entire public transport system. After the bombing of Brno and the shifting of the front line, a considerable number of the vehicles and facilities were destroyed or damaged. The restoration of tram lines took several months – in addition to repairs to the tracks, it was necessary to restore the overhead lines, 60% of which had been destroyed. Electric service was not fully restored until the end of 1945. After the war, Brno had to rebuild its bus service from the ground up – most of the functional buses had been confiscated by the retreating Nazi army.
Boat transport on the Brno Dam was launched on 5 May 1946. Initially, it was serviced by the vessels Brno, Morava and the smaller boat Svratka. The first route led only to Veveří Castle and back, but it was extended to Veverská Bítýška in 1949.
The interest in boat transport was huge from the very beginning, with almost 130,000 passengers carried by the vessels in the first year alone. The beginnings of the service were very modest. Boats were repaired and built practically under the open sky. Over the next few years, the vessels Veveří, Úderník, Pionýr, Mír, Svratka and Moskva were added to the fleet. Some of them were constructed partially, some even completely, by the employees of the transport company themselves. Two boats from this period set sail to the dam to this day – Brno (formerly Úderník) and Morava (formerly Moskva).
All vessels of the transport company (with the exception of the smaller boat Svratka) were and are environmentally friendly – they are electrically powered, which is environmentally friendly, does not pollute the reservoir with oil products and the surroundings with noise.
At the end of July 1949, it was possible to start service on the newly constructed trolleybus lines, which Brno had been trying to do since the First Czechoslovak Republic. By the end of 1949, three lines were put into operation. The first led from the main railway station to Slatina, the second from Moravské náměstí to Královo Pole and the third from Komárov to Tuřany.
There was no significant expansion of tram transport in the 1950s and 1960s. The existing network, complete with bus and trolleybus services, was sufficient to meet passenger demand. However, the rolling stock, tracks and technical infrastructure were modernised. The introduction of four-axle T-series trams from ČKD Praha and K-series cars is worth mentioning. In 1964, the transport company ran 17 regular tram lines.
Since 1951, Brno passengers had to get used to the numbered bus lines, which they were familiar with from trams and trolleybuses. Until then, the lines were marked with letters.
In the second half of the 1960s, bus transport proved to be the simplest solution for transport service to new housing estates. However, as a result of the development of this system, trolleybus transport was stagnating.
After 1970, other new – mostly bus – lines were gradually introduced. Their routes led from the periphery to the city centre. In order to provide service to the satellite housing estates, the company additionally built several tram lines running on separate tracks. Trolleybus transport also experienced a renaissance, with new lines built to Žabovřesky, Bohunice, Nový Lískovec, Kohoutovice and Vinohrady.
The development of individual means of transport at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s became a great competition for public transport. The city administration therefore took the decision to make an organisational change to the public transport system to make it more efficient. During the preparation and actual implementation, which took place in 1995, emphasis was placed on maximum use of tram and trolleybus traction system and reduction of parallel bus lines. Other priorities included simplifying the tram system and shortening the interval between services.
Do you know that our average passenger travels 13 kilometers per day?