Representatives of the government and Uber signed a memorandum on Monday. The company undertakes, among other things, the establishment of a trade license, and its drivers have to meet the conditions for regular taxi drivers. This was stated by the late Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO). The Memorandum was originally signed by the end of March 2018. However, the meeting was deadlocked for several weeks. According to MF DNES, the firm first refused to sign a document with a fixed date in which it has to legalize its business in the Czech Republic.
Taxi operators have criticized Uber and Taxify for failing to comply with the law because their drivers are driving without licenses and taximeters. Taxi drivers in protest against the two companies in the capital have blocked transport several times.
“Uber also promised to set up a trade license without delay and to ensure that his drivers meet all the conditions required by law,” Krnáčová said. The document was signed with representatives of Prague.
Uber also promised to share data with the Treasury to gain a better insight into tax payments on behalf of company drivers. “All parties also agreed that the company will introduce an electronic revenue record for its services,” said government spokesman Barbora Peterová.
The next meeting in three months
In three months there will be further talks on which the city and the government plan, according to Krnáčová, to make sure that Uber fulfills its obligations. “Meanwhile, the city will, of course, continue with the checks,” the Mayor added.
In the document, Uber also pledged to modify its application through which it provides services to clients to meet certain legal conditions for taxis. The company also promised to cooperate with the necessary legislative adjustments for alternative carriers such as Uber. On the contrary, the municipality promised to provide training for drivers, even in the case of exceptionally high interest.
The Czech Republic delas with new legislation for the taxi and Uber drivers
Babis, together with Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO), addressed a letter to Uberu Dar Khosrowshahi at the end of February. They called for compliance with Czech legislation. [full report]
“Our goal is to continue working with the government of the Czech Republic and other stakeholders to find the best solution for thousands of passengers, drivers and the city,” said Alexei Stakh, head of Central European Uber operations.
Politicians in the Czech Republic have been working hard on how to regulate the use of Uber or Taxify transport applications in recent months. It is generally agreed that legislation should be modernized.
The Ministry of Transport has in the past indicated that it would not have to insist on the obligation to use a taximeter. On the other hand, taxi drivers in Prague repeatedly demonstrated the stricter approach of the authorities to Uber and Taxify.
However, taxi drivers’ protests after the European Court of Justice ruled last December that Uber is providing transportation services, and the Member States can regulate it as a traditional taxi service that the countries regulate themselves. Uber argues that it is a technology company. There is free movement of services for those in the EU.
The European Commission (EC) has repeatedly taken action in the past in benefit of the digital economy. In April 2014, Vice-President Neelie Kroes criticized the decision by the Brussels court to ban the UberX service. In his opinion, the commission called on Member States to consider relaxing restrictions, including licensing requirements.
How is Prague Uber doing?
Uberu in Prague is used by 300,000 people according to the company’s information, which means a 60% increase in the number of customers in the last year. The number of active drivers has increased by half to 2,000. Of these, 90 percent has another source of income.