While some taxi drivers and carriers tape registration plates on their cars to open the barrier at Václav Havel Airport for free, others have invented a more elegant solution to avoid the charge. Passengers simply land at the bus stop. But according to spokesman Roman Pacvoˇm, they are risking people’s health.
Up to 100 crowns is required by Václav Havel Airport for a repeated entry to the express parking lot at terminals 1 and 2 (we have informed of the fee introduction here).
It is now common that drivers stop outside the car park. The most frequent place is Aviatic Street, where the road sign and the yellow stripes mark a bus stop.
Dozens of carriers will land there within an hour. In most cases, passengers come out, but it also happens that drivers will handle people. The second common place for the landing or arrival of people is the street in front of the Mariott Hotel.
Passengers have terminals tens to hundreds of meters away (depending on where they are flying), but save some money. A charge of up to 100 crowns would be added by the taxi drivers to the cost of transport.
The drivers even suggest stopping outside the car park. When the iDNES.tv reporter Matěj Smlsal ordered a taxi from Liboce to the airport, the operator informed him of the possibility of stopping at the Mariott Hotel. The offer was subsequently made by the taxi driver himself. “We are doing our best,” he replied to the question whether he offered a toll to all passengers.
Stopping elsewhere is inadmissible
Paradoxically, taxi drivers want up to 100 crowns. The airport offers so-called value cards where drivers get repeated entry to the car park within 24 hours for 40 crowns.
“It is very unfortunate to ask passengers to pay a fee of 100 crowns. Offering an alternative to disembarking out of a designated spot even is inadmissible,” said Roman Pacvoň, a spokesman for the airport.
According to him, interest in discount cards is growing steeply. While last year in August, drivers used it 5000 times, they have used the card 64,000 times this August.
“We are convinced that passengers prefer safe and convenient departure from a taxi in the immediate vicinity of terminals. If a taxi driver discharges or carries a passenger into a location other than that designated, he risks not only his or her health, which he deliberately threatens, but can also commit a traffic offense. Such action is then dealt with by the Police of the Czech Republic,” added Pacvoň.
If the driver sees the cops, he won´t stop
According to police spokesman Andrey Zoulova, the yellow line marking the bus stop sign is sufficient and drivers should respect this prohibition.
“If the owner of the communication acknowledges that the action is taken and the marking of the stop prohibition is inadequate, it may give impetus to the relevant administrative authority. The police in this issue can say that the policemen are focused on the aforementioned meetings as part of the normal service,” said Zoulová.
If such a driver is detected, it will be resolved within the law. “It is clear from our experience that the vast majority of drivers will retreat from such an offense at the time of the presence of the police patrol. However, it should be noted that it is not possible for the police to carry out such surveillance 24 hours a day,” a police spokesperson added.
The charge for re-entry to the car park during the next 24 hours was introduced by the airport in July. Previously, drivers could get their car in free of charge after an hour. The only ones who do not pay the entrance fee are the official airport taxis. But they have a cost per kilometer higher than most other carriers.