Uber Brings Budapest to a Halt
- New Europe Investor
- April 29, 2015
Controversial but hugely successful American taxi app firm, Uber, brought the taxi drivers of Budapest to Heroes Square last weekend blocking traffic in the city centre.
They were protesting against the companies presence in the city and market practises. Last weekend, Uber began offering a free ride to anyone whose trip did not exceed 3000 forints.
The taxi drivers are arguing that Uber drivers do not have to abide by the strict rules that Budapest taxi drivers are forced to.
Ultimately for taxi drivers it is their earnings that have suffered, hence the protests.
Normal taxi drivers base fare in Budapest is 450 forints with a 280 forint charge per kilmoetre. In contrast, Uber’s base fare in Budapest is 300 forints with a 130 forint charge per kilometre.
The legality of Uber comes into question in nearly every market it enters. Questions surrounding unfair business practices, passenger safety and whether Uber meets basic local taxi legislation are consistently raised.
With Uber’s vast financial resources and immense popularity among users, the company has focused its efforts on having local legislators set up a new regulatory framework to allow the company to legally compete with the traditional taxi industry.
The protests seen in Budapest have also been seen other cities across Europe, including Berlin, London and Paris.
However, with the firm charging forward all over the world whilst revolutionising the taxicab industry, taxi drivers will have a tough battle to slow them down.