The bill to amend the Public Transport Act so it would also regulate ride-sharing services at the current stage of the discussions in the Riigikogu will treat traditional taxi companies and ride-share services similarly in most points. With only few exceptions, both will be treated as taxi services.
The Economic Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu discussed the bill on Tuesday. The committee will review the change proposals submitted by next week, after which the bill’s second reading is due. According to Aivar Kokk (IRL), the committee chairman, the bill in its current form specifies similar requirements both for taxi and ride-share companies, ERR’s Aktuaalne Kaamera newscast reported.
Currently the taxi companies also had the option to offer up their services through an online platform, and ride-share platforms could offer taxi services if they had the according signs and meters fixed to their cars, Kokk said.
Member of the committee, Toomas Kivimägi (Reform) said that both taxi and ride-share drivers needed licenses for their vehicles as well as for themselves. “The small difference is that those who are driving for a platform only need an electronic card that doesn’t have to be physically on display in the vehicle, because if a customer orders the platform’s services electronically, they have the option to check the provider’s license as well,” Kivimägi said.
There are a few more differences beyond the license. “A traditional taxi with the according licenses can use the public transport lanes, and pick up passengers at taxi stands or from alongside the street. A platform user without these licenses can’t use the public transport lane, and can only use the app, not a meter,” Erki Savisaar (Center), also a member of the committee, added.
The earlier demand that services can only be offered by the responsible user of any vehicle has for the time being been excluded from the bill.
Editor: Dario Cavegn