MF DNES and Pavel Bem vs. Prague’s taxi drivers

In its campaign to expose fraudulent cab drivers, Mlada Fronta DNES talked Prague’s Mayor Pavel Bem into doing some undercover work. Posing as an Italian, Bem hailed two cabs. The first overcharged him by 500%, the second by 200%. I hope this is more than just a double-barrelled publicity stunt. I hope DNES stays on the case and Bem kicks a whole lot of thieving Prague cabbie ass.

Pavel Soprano

Last year, I spent a good deal of time with Keith Armstrong and Katrina Porteous, a couple of wonderful poets from Newcastle upon Tyne (Keith will be in town for three performances in late February). They had an experience quite similar to that of Pavel “Soprano” Bem – they took a cab from Old Town Square to Wenceslas Square (about a ten-minute walk – Keith was having trouble with his knees that day, I believe) and were charged about CZK 1000 for a ride that really should not have cost any more than CZK 200, if that.

When they told me this, I felt ashamed. I love this city, and I love showing it off to visitors, but things like this disgust me. It’s about time Prague’s city officials started doing something about this issue – as long as it’s not just dishing out lip service.

Jan 15, 21:11 (Filed under: )

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