Uber reports 400,000 Czech downloads to date

Photo: portal gda, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Uber app has been downloaded 400,000 times since the car service launched in the Czech Republic. Forty percent of users in Prague are visitors.

Photo: portal gda, CC BY-SA 2.0
Representatives of Uber said on Wednesday that its app for mobile devices had been downloaded 400,000 times since the car service entered the Czech market in 2014, iHned.cz reported. Under half of those with the app use it at least once a month.

The director of Uber for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Tomáš Peťovský, refused to divulge more detailed data regarding rides. However, he did say that the overall number had grown by 340 percent in 12 months.

The Czech branch of Uber has been in profit since the third quarter of last year, another company representative said.

Given the possibility of employing the app in states other than where one is resident, many of those who avail of Uber’s services in Prague are not local. In fact, a full 40 percent of users in the capital are visitors.

At present the company has over 2,000 drivers in the Czech Republic, all of them based in Prague.

However, few work exclusively for the alternative taxi service. One third of drivers use the Uber app for less than 10 hours a week and 90 percent have another source of income, the firm said.

Uber launched in Brno in February but is currently barred from operating in the Moravian capital by a court injunction.

Regular taxi drivers in the city took the legal action against the company, which they say breaks several norms that apply to taxi services. For their part, Uber argues that they don’t run taxis, just a technological platform for “contractual transport”.

Prague taxi men have also long been grumbling about Uber. However, their proposal for an injunction was dismissed for being submitted more than a year after the service was launched, iHned.cz said.

Last week the Czech government presented an analysis aimed at resolving questions surrounding Uber and similar car services. One proposal is the direct taxation of drivers’ incomes.

At present Czech Uber have no plans to begin operating in any other Czech cities or towns. Neither will they bring in UberPOOL, in which cars carry different passengers heading in the same direction for a lower than usual price.

The Prague market is at present too small for UberPOOL, though the service may be introduced in future, a company representative said.