Czech authority approves Uber's bid to take over Prague Airport taxi services

The Office for the Protection of Competition has dismissed a motion filed by Tick Tack, giving Uber the green light to move forward with Prague Airport. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 17.06.2023 15:38:00 (updated on 17.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Uber has received approval from the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition in its bid to operate the official taxi service at Prague Airport. The decision marks a significant development in the ongoing battle for taxi services at the airport.

The decision is not yet final, however, as competitor Tick Tack, which had originally filed a motion for review, now has the opportunity to file an appeal within 15 days. Tick Tack, a subsidiary of Taxi Praha, has been providing taxi services at Prague Airport in collaboration with the company Fix since 2016.

Late last year, Uber emerged as the winner of the tender to operate the official taxi service at Prague Airport. Initially, Uber was scheduled to commence operations at the airport in February, but due to objections raised by competitors, the start date was postponed. Subsequently, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition initiated an investigation into the tender process.

Martin Švanda, a spokesperson for the Office for the Protection of Competition, confirmed that the authority rejected Tick Tack's proposal for review, stating that no grounds for corrective measures were found in the contracting authority's procedure.

Švanda added that certain parts of the proceedings were halted due to inadequately filed objections. The finality of the decision is crucial because Prague Airport cannot enter into a contract with Uber until the process is concluded.

If Tick Tack chooses not to file an appeal within the allotted 15-day period, the decision by the Office for the Protection of Competition will become final. In that case, Uber will be able to officially sign a contract with Prague Airport.

However, if Tick Tack decides to file an appeal, a second-level proceeding will be initiated, which is expected to last at least two months. During this time, further examination and evaluation of the tender will take place.

Uber's successful bid for the tender at Prague Airport came with certain conditions. One of the fundamental requirements is that the operator must set the final price before each trip, utilizing their software to calculate the fare. This stipulation ensures transparency and prevents any fare manipulation.

Additionally, the operator must guarantee a high standard of service quality and safety, maintain a fleet of vehicles no older than three years, and ensure that drivers exhibit professional behavior. Proficiency in English and Czech is also expected from the drivers to facilitate communication with passengers.

Furthermore, the operator must offer cashless payment options to provide convenience for passengers. Accessibility is another key aspect, with the requirement to accommodate disabled passengers and families with children. The operator is also responsible for ensuring an adequate number of available vehicles at the airport to meet the current demand.

Klára Divíšková, a spokesperson for Prague Airport, expressed satisfaction with the decision of the Office for the Protection of Competition. Divíšková also mentioned that once the decision becomes final, preparations for the commencement of operations by the new taxi service provider can begin in earnest.

The outcome of this tender will have a significant impact on taxi services at Prague Airport. Uber is poised to become the official provider, introducing its innovative approach and technology to streamline and enhance the passenger experience.

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