Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stealing from the ZOO with opencard

Today we visited the Prague ZOO (BTW 7th best ZOO in the world, according to the Forbes magazine) and while buying the tickets I noticed a sign saying something in the lines of "It's really worth having an Opencard". I asked what that means and was told a holder of Opencard has a 5% discount.

Opencard is really something special. It's a chip card with RFID that serves as public transport pass, metropolitan library pass and something with parking.
Not mentioning the obvious privacy issues, the problem is the project was extremely overpriced and Opencard is a synonym for corruption in the czech media now.
Not only this, the project is not really successful and the only reason it's not a complete failure is because they raised the public transport prices for people not using the card, so people like me just got it to save some cash.

The municipality, facing both public and political (elections are near) backlash, is pressed to do something to save their asses. They've recovered a minor part of the wasted money and are now trying to convince the public that the project is useful after all. Since they cannot directly pump more money into it, their nasty fingers are into other people's purses - municipality sponsored theatres, the ZOO and others are now forced to give discounts to Opencard holders. I'm wondering whether their lowered incomes will be refunded by the municipality (bad) or not (just as bad).

I'm not really happy I saved 8 crowns on the ticket today.

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