Instead of Bringing Some Order to the City Taxi Service, Mayor of Split Wants to Sue Uber

By 26 June 2016

And the hits from Split mayor Ivo Baldasar just keep on coming. 

Whether you like Uber or not, one thing is certain. Their prices in Split are considerably lower than those offered by the ONLY taxi service in Split - Radio Taxi Split. There's a good reason why I chose to use caps in the previous sentence. Split, as the second largest city in Croatia, has just one taxi service and, for instance, Zagreb has three rather large taxi service, Rijeka and Osijek two. Split Cab drivers are willing to do anything and everything to ensure their monopoly and prevent competition from entering the market and they found a reliable partner to support their cause in none other than the mayor Ivo Baldasar, who, instead of trying to enforce some order in this particular service before the peak tourist season, stated on June 25, 2016, that he intends to sue Uber.

It's no big secret taxi drivers in Split get their licenses by "talking" to the right people. Their service is lacking, to say the least, they're the most expensive service of this kind in the country, cars range from old ruins that require a few Our Fathers and Hail Marys before you get in to brand new uniformed white sedans. Only problem there, as a customer, you don't have the right to choose the car, you're stuck with whichever car is next in line at the taxi stand. Not to mention that, after 10 PM, the taximeter may or may not be consulted to give you the final fare and instead of automatically issuing a receipt you'll get asked if you need one. So much for fiscal responsibility.

According to Index.hr, not everyone in the Split city administration agrees with Baldasar's cheap attempt to get a few votes in the local elections by protecting the taxi drivers. Deputy mayor Goran Kovacevic stated that he is not sure there are any legal grounds for Baldasar's latest battle, adding that Split, as a major tourist destination, needs services like Uber. HSLS reacted to Baldasar's announcement on June 26, 2016, calling him a hypocrite since he now wants to protect 140 taxi drivers because they are Split residents, as if the workers partnering Uber are not. Not to mention the workers of Promet, public city transport company which was run into the ground while Baldasar and all his predecessors stood by and watched.

"UberX is a licensed service in Croatia, offered in cooperation with qualified professionals with commercial insurance that all passed our strict security background check. Uber partners are self-employed local business owners and tradesmen that get to select their own working hours. They function differently than taxi drivers since they are either small companies or trades registered to rent cars with drivers. Unfortunately, this service is still not regulated and we are currently working with national authorities and other subjects in order to regulate it much to the benefit of all local companies within this sector” said Amela Pasalic from Uber Croatia.  

Uber doesn’t look at taxi drivers as their competition “They are more than welcome to join our platform, and we have to say an increasing number of them is currently in the process of becoming a partner driver”.