Fixed prices, available 24/7: Uber becomes Prague Airport's official taxi provider

After winning a lengthy tender process in the spring, the ridesharing company is the main service that carries people from the airport to city. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 26.09.2023 11:51:00 (updated on 28.09.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

As of Tuesday, Sept. 26, ride-sharing platform Uber has officially become the main taxi provider for Prague's Václav Havel Airport. This marks a significant development for travelers who can look forward to fixed fares, 24/7 service availability, and a fleet of predominantly new vehicles, all aimed at enhancing the passenger experience.

Jakub Puchalský, Member of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, emphasized that passengers' rights are of the utmost importance for the new taxi service. "The new taxi service provider will provide its services under the constant control of the airport, focusing not only on the quality of Uber's service but also compliance in setting regulated prices," he said.

A win for passengers

This marks an important milestone for passengers who will now be able to see the final price of their ride in advance, which, as is standard with Uber, will be calculated by the software.

Contractual obligations for Uber drivers at the airport

  • Provide a final price before each ride, calculated by their software, with a commitment not to exceed the agreed price, even in cases of route changes or traffic delays.
  • Maintain 24/7 availability.
  • Operate a fleet primarily consisting of upper-middle-class vehicles no older than five years.
  • Employ drivers who meet quality and safety standards, possess valid permits, are proficient in Czech, have basic English proficiency for customer communication, and wear appropriate attire.
  • Offer contactless payment options.
  • Share ride data, including route and price, with the airport.

How does it work?

Passengers can easily request Uber rides through the mobile app, the airport's web interface, or kiosks located in the arrival halls of both terminals. For travelers needing assistance or guidance, Uber staff will be available at service counters within the arrival halls. Dispatchers will also be present near terminal buildings to assist passengers in finding and boarding their cars.

The app also offers a variety of features, including the ability to pair with a specific car via a PIN code, which significantly reduces waiting times. Moreover, the app supports over 100 languages and translates messages between drivers and passengers to bridge language barriers.

Uber's service readiness at the airport will be dynamically adjusted based on current demand to prevent lengthy passenger waits. Additional services include the availability of car seats for families with children and transportation for individuals with reduced mobility or orientation challenges. Passengers will also have the opportunity to provide ratings for the service and drivers, contributing to overall service quality.

Uber emerged as the successful bidder in the airport's concession procedure, initially scheduled for launch in the spring. However, a competing bidder's appeal to the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition of the Czech Republic temporarily delayed the process.

Tick Tack, a subsidiary of Taxi Praha that has been providing taxi services at Prague Airport in collaboration with the company Fix since 2016, filed a complaint earlier this year. However, in early September, the Czech Antimonopoly Office confirmed the legality of Prague Airport's selection, solidifying Uber's position as the chosen provider.

For Uber, the cooperation with Prague Airport is in line with the company's further expansion within European airports. Last year, it also launched a cooperation with the largest Polish airport, Frédéric Chopin, in Warsaw, reports Czech Crunch. 

Independent taxi drivers have voiced their frustration over Uber's partnership with Prague Airport, which essentially "pushed them out" of operations. However, with increased pricing transparency and the possibility of reduced wait times by an average of 50 percent, the partnership marks a significant win for passengers.

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