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Inspection reveals one in three Prague taxi drivers overcharge

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Prague, Nov 3 (CTK) – Over one third of the Prague taxi drivers whom the municipal inspectors checked on Monday overpriced the ride, Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova told CTK Tuesday, adding that the City Hall will intensify the checks in order to improve Prague´s reputation impaired by dishonest taxi drivers.

The inspectors met with excessive fares set by six of the 16 checked taxi drivers.

By overpricing the ride, the drivers breached the law on prices.

The inspectors also met with a taxi ride with the taximeter out of operation, and another one without the car having the “taxi” label. The respective drivers breached the law on road transport. Their offences were settled with the assistance of the police, Krnacova (ANO) said.

“We will continue our tough campaign against dishonest taxi drivers. Repression is one of the few methods that are effective in relation to dishonest taxi drivers,” Krnacova said.

Since July, the City Hall and taxi drivers have been negotiating about new standards of the taxi service, the maximum fare and the testing of taxi drivers.

They also discuss a draft amendment to the road law that sets tougher conditions for a driver´s reliability and newly contains the duties and liability of transport mediators such as dispatching centres and mobile applications´ operators.

The bill would introduce special number plates for taxi cars in order to eliminate the drivers operating without a licence.

Prague, a city with 1.2 million inhabitants, has had long-lasting problems mainly with dishonest taxi drivers.

According to the City Hall´s data, there are 2,000 active taxi operators in Prague, over 4,600 vehicles registered as taxi and almost 5,500 taxi drivers with a licence.

In July, several hundreds of taxi cars blocked the motorway crossing the centre of Prague in protest against the planned toughening of the tests for taxi drivers. In September, the drivers dropped their plan for further protests after Krnacova promised that the City Hall will raise the maximum permitted fare for a kilometre of ride.

The City Hall, however, now says it cannot meet the promise in time.

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