May 15, 2020
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Inflated prices, drug addicts and alcoholics driving. What happens to taxis in Ukraine

The services of Uber, Uklon, Bolt, which we usually call a taxi, did not fall into the number of services whose cars were allowed to travel on public transport lanes . Commenting on this decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Minister of Infrastructure Vladislav Krikli noted that Uber, Uklon and Bolt are not licensed carriers, but carpooling.

Well, what does this mean for the passenger ?

Not responsible

Carpooling is a term that means sharing a private car using online travel search services.

- As a technology, these are very good services. But with their arrival, the professional taxi industry began to die. Now, anyone with a car, registration certificate and driver’s license can call himself a taxi driver and carry passengers. But this is wrong, because a taxi driver is not only a driver, - says the head of the Trade Union of Taxi Drivers of Ukraine Vasyl Popik. In his opinion, these Internet platforms use imperfect legislation and are registered outside Ukraine.

- People who work for these services have never paid and are not going to pay taxes. In this regard, there is complete lawlessness in Ukraine. Because of this, according to various estimates, the budget does not reach more than 2 billion hryvnias per year, adds Vasily Popik.

He assures that the trade union is not fighting against modern technologies or companies. The question is to restore order in this sphere of services.

- Our task is to bring such services to the white field so that they start paying taxes, register in Ukraine and are responsible for the actions of their taxi drivers, - says Vasily Popik. - After all, when you download applications, the license agreement states that their company is not responsible for the actions of a taxi driver. It is not right. It is necessary to register the rights and responsibilities of operators, taxi drivers and passengers.

Stuck and drove

To become a taxi driver of any of the Internet services , a little is needed: auto, rights, smartphone.

- Go to the taxi service website, download the application, fill out an online application form. Not sure if this data is being verified. And that’s it - you are already a taxi driver! We sat down - let's go, ”says automotive expert Alexander Fedchenko. - Orders come to your mobile, you execute them. You give the percentage to the taxi service.

In this case, the state of health of the driver who has replaced the shift is not controlled in any way. As well as the technical condition of the car.

- There is a problem with both drug addicts and alcoholics. I personally had a case in practice when one of these services gave a person a car, and on the very first day he had an accident in it, ”says lawyer Vadim Volodarsky. - During the investigation it turned out: at the moment when the driver came to them and got behind the wheel, he was intoxicated. Do you understand ?! He got up in the morning and took it before the first working day. But this is a problem not only of these services, but the problem of the absence of a civilized taxi market as a whole.

The result of the absence of any policy in the sphere of regulating the work of taxi services and similar services is complete anarchy.

- Such a taxi driver is not a full-time employee. He is like a "rook": if he wants to go, he goes. He doesn’t want, he doesn’t go. How do you make him? - says Vasily Popik. - Previously, if you called the company, which is worried about the reputation, it must have found you a car from its available.

Because of this, in the opinion of our interlocutor, unexplained price jumps occur . It began to rain in the city - the tariff doubled. People left after quarantine - the tariff doubled.

It’s difficult to fix the mess

Autoexpert Alexander Fedchenko believes that it's time to change the law .

- We need a new law on taxi, which will spell out the rules for control rooms and aggregators (Internet sites for ordering a taxi. - Aut.). Until this happens, the anarchy will continue, ”our interlocutor says.

However, lawyer Vadim Volodarsky is sure that even creating the necessary legislative base will not significantly improve the situation without appropriate control.

- Stop each car and ask - who are you taking, free or for money? - says lawyer Vadim Volodarsky. - In my opinion, all this is simply unrealistic. Legally, services have the status of a travel search platform, and it is not possible to bring it under the legislative framework. By law, it’s not forbidden for us to search for a travel companion in the social network.

Uber explained why prices are dancing

- We support the offer taxi reform, which requires drivers to have the appropriate permits. We will immediately begin to check such documents as soon as they are enshrined in the law, ”KP in Ukraine answered the press service of Uber.

As for the cost of trips, they are calculated according to the algorithm: expected travel time, route length, congestion, number of users requesting trips, and number of drivers nearby. In times of high demand, Uber can apply dynamic pricing. In these situations, the regular price is increased by a factor that is displayed to the user in the application before booking a trip. This allows the Uber application to quickly respond to changing market conditions and temporarily change prices to provide both the opportunity to travel for the maximum number of users and the possibility of decent earnings for drivers.

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