No more estimates: popular ridesharing company Uber has announced that it will be introducing upfront fares in Prague and throughout the Czech Republic, reports iDnes.cz.
The change comes after Uber representatives and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš reached an agreement for the company to operate legally in the country last week.
Because their drivers were not licensed to operate a taxi service, Uber had been operating in what some considered a legal grey zone. Recent and extensive protests from taxi drivers, who deem the service to be unfair competition, have highlighted the issue.
Last week, Babiš announced that both Uber (currently operating in the country from the Netherlands) and its drivers would need to apply for trade licenses to legally operate in the Czech Republic, a process that is currently being undertaken.
Uber has agreed to not take on any more unlicensed drivers, but has asked the state to allow its current drivers to continue to operate while their trade license applications are being processed.
Today, the company has announced upfront fares as a way to further comply with existing legislation. Customers will agree to fares in advance and contract them through the mobile app.
Current legislation regulates taxi services (through the use of a taximeter) and contracted ride services differently, which means that with the upfront fares Uber drivers wouldn’t need to use a taximeter to operate legally.
Uber already operates with upfront fares in many countries, while it uses estimates and “post-trip” fares in others.
Upfront fares do not guarantee a fixed final price, however: if the passenger requests additional stops, a different destination, or the trip takes “much longer than expected,” the fare can still rise.
Uber currently boasts approximately 300,000 users across the Czech Republic. That includes an estimated 2,000 drivers, 90% of whom use the service as a source of supplemental income.