Budapest taxi drivers urge 10-15% tariff hike

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LaMography/Moni Lazar

Budapest taxi drivers have asked the city council to raise tariffs by 10-15% to keep up with mounting costs, business daily Világgazdaság reported on Wednesday. If their demands are met, it could mean an average extra HUF 300-400 per ride for customers, the paper estimated.

Photo: LaMography/Moni Lazar

Taxi drivers in the capital are still charging tariffs that were set by the local council five years ago, even though unavoidable business costs have risen, including insurance hikes of 30-40% set for this year, the paper noted.

As an additional burden on taxi operators, Világgazdaság cites the increasing number of modern cars added to taxi fleets in recent years, which require servicing at prices that have risen considerably as the need to keep mechanics on the payroll necessitates significant wage hikes. The report also mentions the costs of installing internet-linked taxi meters in the past year.

Taxi drivers hope for tariffs to rise from April, Zoltán Metál, who heads the National Taxi Alliance (OTSz), told the paper.  The city council has still not responded to taxi driversʼ proposal on the higher tariffs, which they submitted through the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BKIK).

Under the decree on tariffs that entered force from September 2013, the base fare for taxis operating in Budapest is set at HUF 450 and the per-kilometer fee at HUF 280. The decree, which also laid down strict requirements for vehicles, aimed to create transparency on the market and weed out unscrupulous drivers.

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