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Gov't, taxi drivers to regulate Uber

Competition

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Hungary's state secretary for economic regulation agreed with the representatives of taxi companies at a meeting on Monday that the ridesharing service Uber should not be allowed a competitive advantage in acquiring fares, the National Economy Ministry reported today.

Uber is a ridesharing service headquartered in San Francisco, United States, and operates in more than 200 cities worldwide. The company uses a smartphone application to coordinate rides between passengers and drivers.

For rides in Budapest, the company advertises a base fare of HUF 300 and a HUF 130 per-kilometer fee, meanwhile under a decree set forth in September 2013, the base fare for taxis operating in Budapest was set at HUF 450 with a per-kilometer fee of HUF 280. The decree, which also outlined strict requirements for vehicles, was aimed at promoting transparency on the market and weeding out unscrupulous drivers.

"The participants at the meeting agreed that Uber should not be allowed a competitive advantage over honestly operating taxi services by failing to fully comply with the legal requirements for personal transport activities," the ministry said in a statement.

State secretary Bela Glattfelder said regulations were required to ensure equitable conditions for providers of personal transport services and to defend domestic taxi companies as well as passengers. The parties will continue to negotiate in the interest of establishing a regulatory environment, the ministry added.

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