Taking a taxi in Prague maybe is the easiest but for sure not the cheapest way to getting around the city. Especially when you are foreigner who has already arrived to Prague. But there are also some alternatives to use, like Liftago or Uber. Have a look what Prague is offering despite of almost perfect public transport!
Be aware of taxi drivers
Unfortunately, Prague is known from fraudations, extortions or violent attacs commited by taxi drivers more than any other city.
Reasons for this is that there were too many licenses issued and almost no regulation of their activities. However the final straw appears to have broken the camel’s back. One passenger objected to being charger 8,000 CZK (250 USD) for a ride of about 3 kilometres and the City Hall had to step in with a solution. The deregulation of rates from October 15, 1996 had been cancelled and instead the strict guidelines were introduced.
The most common way of cheating tourists is extra charging, so whenever getting a taxicab, ask the driver in advance the approximative price of the ride and pay attention that the driver sets the taxi meter to zero when starting the car.
Despite the problems that sometimes occur, taxis remain the most comfortable way to travel and if you negotiate your journey in advance and take in mind the night extra charges you don’t have to worry about anything.
Uber – have you heard about it?
Uber is an on-demand car service that allows you to request private drivers through applications for iPhone and Android devices. The service utilizes dispatch software to send the nearest driver to your location. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is some sort of shared ride or cab service – Uber will send you a taxi-style car. The service provides a no-cash-payment solution that charges your ride directly to the credit card on file with your account.
You can download Uber Application here.
Liftago – how it works?
Liftago is a succesfull Czech start-up which creates an open marketplace for urban transportation. In contrast to most of its competitors, Liftago is building the marketplace on top of existing taxi infrastructure. This way, the young company aims to create the most value for passengers, drivers, dispatch companies as well as for travel operators and cities.
Instead of building a new costly infrastructure like Uber, Liftago utilizes the quality part of existing drivers who are already on the market (10% of all Prague drivers are registered at Liftago).
Individual drivers as well as dispatch companies offer their free capacity and passengers choose from offers of best drivers nearby – based on their price, car and ratings or previous customers.
Interesting fact: Liftago’s traction in Prague is very similar to Uber when it started in San Francisco (20-30,000 rides in first 6 months after launch).