How to get around Prague without using Uber
If you live in or near Prague then you would have done well to miss the anti-Uber protests led by disgruntled taxi drivers at the Prague airport. These protests follow similar moves in big cities which disagree with Uber’s monopolising of the taxi industry, their employment practices, and ongoing allegations of institutionalised sexism within the company.
Despite its many advantages, more and more people are finding reasons to boycott Uber and looking for other options to get around their city. Luckily, in Prague there are more ways than ever to get around this beautiful city, from bikes to borrowing a neighbour’s car.
Let’s take a look at them…
Liftago is the Czech ‘home grown’ version of Uber, very popular across the country and a natural alternative to the big American startup. Liftago is available in big Czech cities, Prague, Brno and Ostrava. As Uber is not available (yet) in Brno and Ostrava, Liftago is a great option for residents of those cities.
Taxify are an Estonian company and are a recent arrival to the Czech market. Taxify claim to be the cheapest taxi app on the market, slashing the commissions paid to their drivers to the tune of 50% of what Uber pays their drivers.
Rekola is the main bike share scheme in Prague which is attempting to turn the city into a bike friendly place in the mould of other European cities such as Amsterdam. Prague isn’t perfectly set up for biking (check out the shortest bike lane in Prague for a laugh) but it is more pleasant alternative to driving or public transport. The price is 32CZK per hour and everything can be done through the Rekola app.
Ofo are the new kid on the Czech bike-sharing block. The Chinese outfit entered the Czech market this month with a trial run of 300 bikes in Prague 7 with a view to rolling out over the rest of the city. Ofo bikes differ from Rekola by their more sophisticated locking system and, of course, their bright yellow colour, as oppose to Rekola’s pink.
Homeport is another Czech company which has recently started operating in Prague. Homeport have successfully launched bike share schemes in other European countries, most notably in the UK, and now plan to compete with Ofo and Rekola in their home city of Prague. The main difference between Homeport and the other two bike sharing companies mentioned is that Homeport also offers electric bikes which are particularly useful for negotiating Prague’s hills.
Although a lazy comparison in the startup world, SmileCar is basically AirBnB for cars. Those needing a car for a trip or to get round the city can rent one from one of SmileCar’s users, paying them a fee for the privilege. The prices compare very favourably to traditional car hire companies (this Techloop employee is a very satisfied customer!) and the car handover, mile counting, return etc all works well.
Prague isn’t the best place to drive around, but if you’re looking to go further afield or just need to shift some heavy things, SmileCar is worth looking into.
Of course these are just some of the options to get around Prague. The public transport in the city is also very good and very affordable plus many of the taxi companies are modernising with apps and fare controls.
If you think we’ve missed anything or have a strong opinion about the Uber/taxi drivers/sexism debate, we’d love to hear from you :)!