Estonia plans to legalize Uber ({{commentsTotal}})

Protest by London cab drivers against Uber in central London, 10 February
Protest by London cab drivers against Uber in central London, 10 February Source: (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

A bill to legalize ride-sharing services such as Uber, Taxify, Hopp and Wisemile as a new category of service called "negotiated passenger transport" will reach the Riigikogu next week, Postimees reported.

According to the bill, the carrying of passengers for money in a car with up to nine seats would be "negotiated passenger transport”, as member of the Economic Affairs Committee Kalle Palling said. "Negotiated passenger transport is neither public transport nor a taxi service, and clear and strict requirements have been set for it, for instance that orders must be placed solely through an electronic system," he said.

Furthermore, negotiated rides are not eligible for any of the rights granted to public transport, such as driving in bus lanes. The name of the provider of the service, and the driver as well as the license plate number of the vehicle must be clearly recognizeable in the electronic system.

Palling said that displaying this information while the passenger was still choosing the service provider was essential for making an informed choice. In addition, the way the fare was calculated needed to be displayed at the time the order is made.

"Estonia could become one of the first EU countries - perhaps even the pioneer country - to regulate ride-sharing. We aim to keep our legal environment such that it will enable the people to benefit as much as possible from the new economy - that's why it is necessary to respond quickly and regulate ride-sharing in Estonia," Palling told the paper.

Amendments to the bill to be introduced in the Riigikogu on Monday could be submitted between the first and the second readings, he said.

A ride-sharing bill has been introduced in the Lithuanian parliament as well.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn