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16 Sep, 2015

Taxi unions call for innovation and a level playing field

Brussels, 15 September 2015 (IRU media release) – The European Social Partners in road transport, IRU and ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation), have renewed their call for a level playing field in the taxi and hire-car with driver sector. Fair competition is essential for supporting innovation and ensuring high service quality to customers, good working conditions, and competitiveness in the public transport chain.

Roberto Parrillo, ETF Road Transport Section President, commented: “Be it for taxi companies or hire-car with driver firms, or for their drivers, it is imperative to observe applicable social and tax rules, legislation and working conditions. This is crucial to ensuring good service and safety for the public. New technologies, including mobile applications used by customers, are very important to the development of the sector, in compliance with applicable laws in no matter which sector they are used.”

As a first step IRU and ETF request the European Commission to urgently propose an EU-wide access to the professional regime for taxis and hire cars with driver in Europe, taking into account the sector’s specific operational and service environment.

In addition, both organisations call upon legislators to ensure that decisions taken by authorities or courts in relation to self-proclaimed “ride-sharing for-reward” transport platforms are fully implemented and enforced, and that existing legislation and regulations, including on working conditions, are respected.

Hubert Andela, President of the IRU Group for Taxis and Hire-Cars with Driver, concluded, “The taxi and hire car with driver business has embraced the latest technologies to better serve customers. One year ago, we launched the Global Taxi Network, increasingly allowing customers, through smartphone apps, to access high quality, legal and safe taxi services anytime, anywhere in the world. A level playing field with all service providers is crucial for such initiatives to develop and serve customers in the optimal way.”

The IRU and ETF reiterated their resolve to cooperate with relevant authorities and mobility organisations to find urgent policy solutions, highlighting the challenges represented by transport services offered outside of the regulatory framework.