Law on taxis in Ukraine will be considered already in September – People’s Deputy Dubnevich
The Ukrainian taxi market is unique – in a good way. Market experts note the high demand and at the same time high competition, which it formed in its present form. In Kiev, a taxi is cheaper than in any of the neighboring capitals – and most of Europe. Dispatching taxi services for many years exchange orders, as a consequence, the number of failures when ordering a car is minimal. In Moscow, for example, there is still no such.
When Uber came to the Ukrainian market, in large cities for more than a year worked its Ukrainian analogue – Uklon, the service of ordering a car on a smartphone. This is an indicative result showing how competition and demand formed an innovative market.
As a consequence, state regulation of the sphere is not keeping up with the development of technologies and business models in this market. Yaroslav Dubnevich, chairman of the Transport Committee of the Verkhovna Rada, explains: since there is no regulation and control, the safety of passengers seriously suffers. Media recently published a number of stories about victims of accidents involving taxi. People suffer. Moreover, they often do not receive compensation for damage. Illegal drivers, as well as dispatch services, are not in a hurry with such compensation, since the existing laws leave them such an opportunity. At the same time, the traditional ways – to tighten the rules even more, to regulate the market more strongly – will not work. Therefore, taxi legislation should be as flexible as the market itself.
“Now we have the following situation: 85% of drivers work illegally. According to other estimates, 90%. And what does illegal work mean? This means there are no guarantees that the vehicle is correct that the driver is adequate, which means that the taxi does not pay any taxes to the state, the passenger’s risks are not insured in the event of an accident, “said Yaroslav Dubnevich during a roundtable in the Transport Committee of the Verkhovna Rada. – I do not think that this problem can be solved in any other way than to motivate taxi drivers to work according to common rules that are uniform for all. Now the situation is different: we have taxi drivers who work under a license, legally. The license, in addition to the headache, gives them almost nothing. They earn less because they pay taxes. Therefore, most of the taxi drivers went into the shadows. And he continues to leave. If we tighten the nuts with more traffic, even a part of the taxi drivers will go into the shadows. Therefore, we need a different kind of law – which would make the work of legal taxi drivers profitable, attractive. ”
The Verkhovna Rada registered a bill that would settle the taxi market (No. 3,107, the authors – Andrei Vadatursky, Oleg Medunitsa and 14 more deputies). To some extent it is revolutionary – it gives the status to illegal drivers (in the text they are called “drivers on call”), and therefore certain rights. Yaroslav Dubnevich says that the authors are looking for the right approach – how to motivate drivers to work legally, what benefits they will get by obtaining a license. For example, the legislation already has certain mechanisms for legal taxi drivers (the right of way along the public transport belt, parking at designated parking lots for taxis, priority when parking near airports and train stations). But this is not enough. It is necessary to create such conditions that the driver objectively wants to “legalize”.
The second important point is to regulate the status of services such as Uklon or Uber. The same Uber is registered in Ukraine, as a marketing company. Accordingly, it is difficult to oblige her to bear any responsibility for passengers who trusted her.
In the bill, such services are supposed to be given the status of “information-dispatching service”. They should provide information to the supervisory authorities – including the drivers who work with them. Those, in turn, should compile a single register of taxi carriers.
The nuances of the draft law were discussed at a round table with the participation of all stakeholders – the trade unions of taxi drivers and public organizations defending their interests, dispatching services, such as Uber, and the controlling bodies: Ukrtransbezopasnosti, National Police, State Financial Services, and the Ministry of Infrastructure. In this case, the Transport Committee acted as a moderator: to gather all interested parties and offer to speak out. If necessary, make changes – before taking the draft for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada.
“It would be wrong if we, the Transport Committee, took the finalization of the bill on ourselves. Our goal was to collect all those who really are connected with the sphere of taxis, sit together and think about what and how to change in the text. That is, the Transport Committee tried to act solely as a moderator of the dispute, in which truth must be born. And I think it turned out, “- says Jaroslav Dubnević.