Taxify will consider leaving Latvian market if Saeima passes Transport Ministry's ridesharing regulations

  • 2018-01-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Taxi platform Taxify is considering leaving Latvian market if Saeima endorses the Transport Ministry's Carriage by Road regulations, the company informed LETA.

Taxify believes that the Transport Ministry's regulations go against the Law on Carriage by Road and the idea that private individuals may also provide taxi services. If the ministry's legislation is passed as is, Taxify might exit the Latvian market.

Taxify head in Latvia Juris Krumins stressed that, according to the draft regulations, private individuals who wish to work as taxi drivers in their free time would have to register a company, obtain a license, and make social contributions, all of which makes providing taxi services by private individuals significantly costlier. "If so, there'll be no difference between taxi companies and private individuals providing taxi services, therefore the law loses its meaning," said Krumins.

Furthermore, the Transport Ministry's legislation stipulates that Taxify's mobile app has to save and hand over to the State Revenue Service all data, not just the data necessary for tax collection and administration, said Krumins. "That is against the law and contradicts the rules on personal data protection and trade secrets. Particularly so because of the European Union's Data Protection Regulation, under which businessmen will risk being fined up to EUR 20 million if they disclose more data than necessary. If the Transport Ministry's regulation is not straightened out in accordance with the law, Taxify will be very seriously considering leaving the Latvian market, and I believe that this market will become irrelevant to practically all other mobile platforms," said Krumins.

He said that the Transport Ministry's regulation would not make the work of private taxi drivers easier - on the contrary, the requirements on these persons will be much tougher than on taxi companies.

Essentially, the Transport Ministry's regulation makes providing taxi services by private individuals practically impossible, emphasized Krumins.

Taxi company SosTaksi Director Aleksandrs Kolosovs also said he was baffled by the Transport Ministry's regulations, pointing out that the regulations were in the interest of some individual taxi companies, not in the entire taxi industry's interests.