Sunday, 19 May 2019

PickApp Hvar, a New Uber Style Taxi Option with Great Prices

May 19, 2019 - Meet PickApp Hvar, an Uber-style app which ushers in a new era for taxi travel on Croatia's premier island - 45% cheaper and 100% transparent.

One of the things I love about technology and Croatia is that the days of certain ripoffs, which have long been in place, are slowly coming to an end. The digital tourist has much wider choice these days, and technology is being used to bring a higher level at cheaper prices to the end user. 

Nowhere is this more true than in the taxi scene, in Croatia and elsewhere. My aversion to taking taxis in Croatia unless absolutely necessary was a result of several unpleasant - and expensive - experiences with taxi drivers here, and I cheered along with many others when Uber launched in Croatia a few years ago. 

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But while travel around Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik, nothing changed on the islands. 

Hvar taxi drivers have been getting away with charging crazy prices for years now. One friend told me he was charged 120 kuna from the supermarket in Hvar Town to his apartment on the hill, a journey of no more than 1 kilometre. Often unmetered, prices also seemed pretty arbitrary. I have not taken a taxi on Hvar since 2004. 

And so when I heard about the launch of PickApp Hvar, a new application for the island which allows users to hail a ride, I was very happy indeed. Finally there seems to be some serious competition to the taxi drivers, and the thing I liked most when I checked out the PickApp Hvar website was this:

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Great price savings, but 100% transparency as well. Refreshing. 

“We are confident that local residents, as well as tourists who are visiting Hvar, will enjoy the fact that from now on you can get a quality and affordable taxi service available 0-24h on Hvar. We want to provide a quality and accessible taxi service for our fellow citizens, and the price will not change regardless of the tourist season.”

Refreshing indeed. 

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So how does it all work?

Similar to applications like Uber, you need to download the app (available on Apple and Android) and then simply select your destination and point of collection. Waiting times are promised to be only a few minutes, and you will be able to track the whereabouts of the car. Payments can be done in cash or by credit card. The price will be displayed in advance, and passengers will also get a photo of the drive and licence plate of the car. Once completed, passengers will receive an email with full details of the trip - route, driver, price etc. 

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The service started on May 15, and PickApp Hvar is offering a special deal until the end of May:

“We call on all local Forani to take advantage of the 50% discount on their first ride by the end of this month.”

The pricing is very transparent - 29 kuna to start, 9 kuna per kilometre plus 1 kuna per minute. By my calculations, that would make Hvar bus station to the Stari Grad ferry in the region of 200 kuna. Wow!

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Other examples PickApp Hvar have provided include Hvar Dolac bus station to the Spanish fortress (40 kuna) and to the popular beach and fish restaurant haven of Milna (79 kuna). Perhaps my friend who paid 120 to take his weekly supermarket shopping home can now get back for a third of the price. 

Fantastic stuff, and I look forward to checking it out this summer on Hvar. 

So can you, via the official PickApp Hvar website

Or download the Apple and Android apps. 

To learn more about the island of Hvar, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page

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