Taxis in Croatia: Ridecar Begins Providing Services in Zagreb

By 20 November 2018

More taxis in Croatia will make the capital city richer for transport possibilities as Ridecar has entered Zagreb's taxi market with 35 of its vehicles, by the end of the year, there will be a hundred of them across Croatia.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of November, 2018, Zagreb is now richer for another player on its market taxi, which is "Ride2", the Ridecar rent-a-car's brand. The first 35 vehicles, along with a large media campaign in daily newspapers and promotional discounts for first-time users, has started its operations in the Croatian capital, giving users of taxis in Croatia yet more choice. Marijan Babić, the director of the company, said that by spring 2019 there will be a hundred of their vehicles present.

How Ride2 distinguishes itself from the competition is as they say themselves, is that a third of their vehicles, and in the future a larger part than that, will be electric cars. In addition, drivers can choose between five categories of vehicles, from standard, electric, to van and premium van.

"We were afraid that we wouldn't manage to complete all of the IT preparation for ordering and paying for the ride in time, but that's all working perfectly. The last obstacle was the Apple Store, which only included our application in its offer Sunday,'' Babić stated.

He added that their application (app) for ordering rides was downloaded 500 times by the early afternoon yesterday, and in the coming days, that number will likely be multiplied. For now, they have ten electric vehicles in their taxi fleet, mostly Renault ZOE's, and by the end of the year, the Hyundai KONA should arrive and their fleet of electric vehicles should climb at least thirty cars. Babić pointed out that they expect the existing electric renault cars to be able to deal with a whole day taxi service in the city, but with the Hyundai, they will increase their operations even more because those cars boast a 500-kilometre autonomy.

"We've invested almost 150 million kuna in our fleet, and only about 25 million has been poured into the taxi business itself. By the end of the year, electric cars will make up 30 percent of our taxi fleet, and finally, we plan to completely exhaust fossil fuel vehicles. Of course, a small part will have to be kept because some of the premium customers look for specific types of vehicles, which aren't currently made in any electric versions,'' explained Babić.

He mentioned that the company's decision to enter the taxi segment was initially decided on after the changes in the Road Traffic Act which gave them a bit more breathing space, but at the same time it caused issues with one of their more profitable services, which was hiring a vehicle with a driver.

"At the request of our partners, which are mostly British agencies, we had an offer in which you could have a package where you rented a car with a driver. The plan was initially to have about 1,000 orders per season, but last year it went up to 6,000, and it managed to reach an amazing 25,000 this year. This is a service that is being sought, but as Uber drivers had to, it was necessary to bring in regulation and now it's possible to do such a job only by renting a limo, knowing which types of cars can and can't enter this segment, this can only really be done by a hotel or a tourist agency. Everyone else had to enter into the standard taxi framework,'' Babić said.

"Getting the workforce has been a big challenge so far, and I'm afraid it will remain the biggest challenge in the forthcoming period. We've a good image among drivers and the backbone of Ride2 are those we engaged over the summer season,'' Babić concluded.

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Click here for the original article by Darko Bicak for Poslovni Dnevnik