Budapest taxis to block roads in new protest


The Lánchíd bridge was blocked by demonstrating taxis this morning. Approximately 1,000 Hungarian taxis are expected to close the main roads of Budapest today in a demonstration against ride-sharing services, which they claim still operate unlawfully in the capital because of lack of effective government action, according to reports.

Taxis line up in Hősök tere this morning before rolling into the capital to close roads. (Photo: MTI/Zoltán Máthé) 

Taxis are reportedly planning to drive through the city, from Városliget to Bem rakpart, and block the roads along the way. The route they are planning is said to include Dózsa György út, Thököly út, Rákóczi út, Erzsébet körút, Teréz körút, Andrássy út, József Attila utca, the Lánchíd bridge, Clark Ádám tér, Fő utca and Bem rakpart.

There have been nearly half a dozen demonstrations by Hungarian taxi drivers this year, the first being sparked by the operations of San Francisco-based ride-sharing service provider Uber.

The current demonstration aims at Uber, as well as other ride-sharing services whose operations are growing.

Taxi drivers say these services are unlawful and take clients away from them by offering cheaper fares, meeting fewer requirements than taxis.

Budapest Transport Center said today if taxis block the route of buses in the capital their routes will be altered for uninterrupted operations, according to reports.

A four-day-long demonstration of Hungarian taxis in January ended when the government promised to make changes to related regulations to unify conditions for all ride-sharing companies operating in the capital. Changes made to the regulations practically transformed Ubers into taxis, and scrutiny against Uber drivers was increased, but taxi drivers claim the actions made by the government were not enough to protect their livelihoods.


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