Budapest Taxi Drivers Request Fare Hike Starting in April
Earlier this week, Zoltán Metál, the head of Hungary’s National Taxi Federation, told business newspaper Világgazdaság that Budapest’s taxi drivers have submitted a plan to increase fares by 10-15% beginning in April.
Metál said that the Federation has already submitted its plan, which includes a higher base fee, higher price per kilometer, and higher waiting fares, to the Budapest Municipal Council.
If approved by the council, the fare hike would require passengers to pay 300-400 forints (0.96-1.28 Euros) more on average for a ride, he claimed, adding that the federation is ready for further consultations with the city management.
Set by the council, taxi fares in Budapest have not changed over the past five years, according to the paper. Világgazdaság also noted that, in this same period, taxi drivers have also seen their expenses rise rapidly during that same period, with insurance fees going up by 30-40% this year. Other costs such as car repair had also risen.
In addition to higher expenditures, however, the National Taxi Federation’s proposed rate hike also comes in the wake of the Hungarian Parliament’s decision to ban the ride-sharing application Uber from Hungary. This decision, taken in the summer of 2016, was widely seen as having been greatly influenced by the county’s taxi lobby, which felt threatened by Uber’s lower fares and greater flexibility. Before it was officially banned, taxi drivers protested against Uber by, among other things, partially blocking off Budapest’s Elizabeth Bridge to traffic as part of their protest against the ride-sharing service.