Representatives of Spojené síly pro Prahu (TOP 09 and STAN) disagree with the amendment to the Taxi Operation regulation, which is intended to increase the price of services. Among other things, they are troubled by the fact that the proposal was not discussed in a coalition where the Spojené Síly with Piráti and Praha Sobě were present. The first time after 13 years, the Municipality wants to allow taxi drivers to increase the price per kilometre by eight crowns to 36 crowns, a boarding rate of 20 crowns to 60 crowns and a minute waiting by a crown to seven crowns.
“We see a big issue with that and Spojené Síly disagrees with the proposal. We do not want further restrictions on alternative transport. Moreover, the proposal was not discussed in the coalition and we do not like this procedure, “said Jiří Pospíšil, Chairman of Spojené síly (TOP 09). He wants to discuss the proposal on a weekly Monday meeting.
According to the resolution of Spojené Síly, the representatives also dislike the fact that the regulation comes at a time when the Chamber of Deputies is discussing an amendment to the Road Transport Act, which also addresses the issue of taxis. “The resolution would cancel the agreed-upon exception that Uber and such don’t have to have a taximeters”, states the resolution.
“Prices have not been changed for 13 years and we have had them recalculated at the Department of Prices and Charges to see what the price of a taxi should look like. We have created the regulation accordingly,” states the Deputy Transport Minister Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě)).
It is not yet clear when Prague councillors will discuss the regulation. On Thursday, 11 July, the commenting deadline, which will now be processed by officials, has ended. “The city council could deal with the amendment by the end of the holiday season, but the date is difficult to estimate due to summer holidays,” said Vít Hofman, municipality spokesman.
Traditional taxi drivers support the change, alternatives are against
Association of Alternative Taxi Drivers is against the amendment. According to them, the proposal abolishes the so-called contractual transport, where the customer pays the fixed amount he/she knows when ordering the ride.
“The possibility of a licensed transport operation, as permitted by the Trades Licensing Office, would disappear. That is, hotel or congress transports, airport tourist transport for a predetermined amount. And several other services – senior taxis or transports for the handicapped, who bring their clients to a doctor, for example, would also have a problem, “said Ondřej Pirohanič, member of the Association’s Preparatory Committee.
On the contrary, traditional taxi drivers agree with it. “We welcome the efforts of the Municipality to set a maximum price for all businesses in the taxi business because it straightens the business environment and removes double standards. The last pricing policy change was done in 2007. The price as of today does not correspond the economic reality,” writes Petr Polišenský, a chairman of Czech Taxi Driver Associaton.
The City Council has calculated the increase based on the annual cost of operating one taxi and the money a driver can earn. According to these calculations, the average driver of the Škoda Octavia would earn almost CZK 30,000 a month at these prices. He could only receive CZK 17,000 a month so far, states the explanatory memorandum.
9800 taxi drivers are operating in Prague, another nearly three thousand drivers drive for the alternative carriers such as Uber or Bolt (formerly Taxify).