Estonian Taxify will continue to operate in all five Czech cities where it has been operating. They have dismissed the interim measure of the Municipal Court in Prague, which banned the company from operating its services without the use of licensed drivers in four cities. This results from the company’s statement Wednesday.
Taxify operates a platform that connects drivers with those interested in ride in the Czech Republic. An injunction of the Municipal Court in Prague ordered the company to operate only through licensed drivers and registered cars. The measure applies to České Budějovice, Olomouc, Ostrava and Pilsen, where Taxify operates.
However, the company refused to do so, arguing that it was only responsible for the software of its platform, and therefore did not act against the law.
“We are convinced that Taxify does not operate any of the activities that Taxify ought to abstain from under the precautionary measure, and that is why the court decision is unfeasible and unenforceable,” said Jan Novosad, a media agent. According to him, the company is only responsible for the development and operation of the platform that helps drivers to connect with passengers. “This activity is not prohibited in the Czech Republic,” he added.
The proposal for interim measures was submitted by competing Liftago. “Unfortunately, competing services infringing the existing law have no incentive to improve rules for everyone in the market,” said Liftago Chief Ondřej Krátký. According to him, platforms such as Uber or Taxify are abusing their position, acting as software intermediaries, and thus not taking responsibility for drivers.
Thus, the Taxify will continue to operate in five cities of the Czech Republic. The interim measure did not apply to Prague, where the city court is currently dealing with a similar action brought in the past by the Association of Prague Taxi Operators.
Additionally, Taxify plans to expand to other cities in the Czech Republic. “We are actively choosing cities whose citizens would be interested in our services,” Novosad said.
The Estonian company started operating in the Czech Republic in August 2015. The application is used by several hundred active drivers in Prague. In other cities, the service started operating from this July.
Prague taxi drivers in protest against Uber and Taxify have already several times blocked the transportation. Uber argued that it is not a taxi driver application, rather than it mediates a car sharing within a shared economy. The taxi drivers do not agree.