The Association of Alternative Taxi Drivers will be established in just a couple of weeks. Its members should strive to promote the simplification of the conditions for obtaining permits.
The Association of Alternative Taxi Drivers should be set up within a few weeks; a preparatory committee is currently working on it. “Our job is to protect the interests of drivers of alternative taxis, such as Uber or Bolt, which, of course, are different from those of classic taxi drivers,” says Blahoslav Tesarek, who is a member of the Preparatory Committee.
The association wants to communicate more with the state and public administration and try to enforce the simplification of conditions for obtaining a license for taxi drivers. “We must not forget that there are other cities than Prague – cities and towns, where alternative taxis can work very well, across the country, so that drivers can move smoothly to where they are in demand,” adds Tesarek.
He denies that services such as Uber, Liftago, etc. are directly responsible for the formation of the association. “Liftago, which is more-or-less a dispatching agency, is not to be considered a modern taxi service, as our aim is to liberalize and ease the conditions. We are in contact with Uber and Bolt, as we drive with them, but the creation of the Association is purely our initiative,” explains Blahoslav Tesárek.
Ideally, the association would like to see the topography exams, that drivers who want to work in Prague have to pass, completely canceled. At the moment, however, the amendment to the Road Act, in which this step is being considered, is not yet definitively approved by the Chamber of Deputies.
It is a test that takes 90 minutes in total and candidates must answer a total of 60 questions, half of which contain questions from the Prague topography and the other half questions from the legislation.
An applicant can make a maximum of six errors. The atlas of Prague is available at the topography test, but mobiles with maps cannot be used. You can read the test questions here. In the practical part, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has a flawless control of the taximeter.
Alternative taxi drivers consider the topography test useless. “There is no reason to deal with questions such as “what is the distance from the Bulgarian embassy to the airport” or whether a street is a one-way street,” says Blahoslav Tesárek.
Taxi drivers, both those of alternative taxis and those who have contracts with traditional businesses, are increasingly using mobile phones with online traffic information apps. Thanks to them, they choose routes that can avoid congestion. And, of course, some drivers of alternative taxis who don’t know Prague so well are making use of the help.
It is the drivers, often from abroad, who would not be able to get directions without a map in Prague, but they are a thorn in the eye of the traditional Taxis Association. It points out that the taxi driver has a good knowledge of the city in which he operates. It may be theoretically possible that a taxi driver would not be able to reach their destination without a map if the phone breaks down.
“When a cell phone breaks down, the driver cannot accept a job in the application, so it probably doesn’t make sense to solve situations that can hardly ever happen,” said Tesarek. “It should be a driver with a valid driving license, license, and insured car. The rest the market will solve itself.”