Saturday, 20 November 2021

Constitutional Court Nixes Age Limit on Taxis

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 -  The Constitutional Court has upheld several appeals against the rule of permitted maximum age limits on taxi vehicles and on vehicles used for private hire in Croatia, the Večernji List daily reported on Saturday.

The age limit was introduced by the transport ministry only on taxi vehicles and on private hire vehicles with up to 8 seats, whereas other categories in the provision of passenger transport services were exempted from that limit.

The age limit would have been taken effect in 2023, and in the event that it had been confirmed by the constitutional court, taxi vehicles and private hire vehicles, older than seven and five years respectively, could no longer be used in transport of passengers as of 2023.

The applicant appealed against discrimination as the age limit rule was applicable for other categories of vehicles in passenger transport services.

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Monday, 18 October 2021

Uber Drivers Strike in Croatia: ''We Feel Like Digital Slaves''

October 18, 2021 - As part of the Uber drivers strike in Croatia, a press conference was held. They claim: ‘‘We cannot get in touch with the company. We have not received an explanation as to why the money is late and when it will be paid. (...) We feel like digital slaves’’.

This morning, Uber drivers went on strike in Zagreb and its surroundings because their salaries were late, reports The salary that was supposed to sit last Tuesday was paid this morning, and Uber claimed over the weekend that the delay was due to an error in the local bank system. Nevertheless, the Uber team continued with the strike organized by the Croatian Digital Platform Workers' Union until 10 am this morning. At 10 am, the secretary of the Trade Union, Iva Filipović, addressed the media.

Filipovic said that they decided to promote an Uber driver strike because they estimated that an immediate response was needed. They appealed to Uber to show solidarity with them. "We are sorry that the application had to be blocked, but we are in such a relationship that we feel like digital slaves," she said in front of Uber's headquarters in Croatia.


Iva Filipović addressed the media this morning during the Uber drivers strike in Zagreb. (Photo: Photo: Matija Habljak/PIXSELL)

She added that Uber constantly emphasizes that their drivers are partners, that they are socially aware and care about the community. “Then how can we not get in touch with them? We have not received an explanation of what is happening, why the money is late and when it will be paid," she said, adding that the money was paid today.

‘‘We can’t talk to any natural person’’

She said they continued the boycott until 10 a.m. to send a message to Uber. “Unfortunately, we can’t talk to any natural person from Uber,” she said, adding that this can happen with any other digital platform, not just Uber. She also said that drivers in Zagreb can, at best, meet with a student who can solve some basic problems in the application. "Drivers from the rest of Croatia can only get an appointment online," she added.

“I’m sorry because no one from Uber showed up, we were hoping someone from the authorities would come out and explain to us what was going on,” she said, saying that says enough about Uber’s claim that their drivers are actually partners. When asked by reporters, she said that the boycott was felt and that users waited twice as long for the ride as well as that the rides were twice as expensive. "It's hard to say, but experience shows that a large number of drivers who would otherwise be on the road were not there today," she said.

Journalists at the Uber drivers strike also asked her how many drivers Uber has in Croatia, to which she replied that only Uber can answer. She also said that they are a new union whose membership is growing, although they are aware that people in Croatia are afraid of union association. She added, however, that some problems like this with salaries can only be solved if they work together.

‘‘If Uber doesn’t pay me, I can’t pay the benefits’’

She also explained that the problem is that she is, for example, as far as the state is concerned, a self-employed person to whom Uber is a partner. “If Uber doesn’t pay me, I can’t pay the benefits to the state I owe,” she said. She said it was important to regulate the area to get workers ’rights.

She also told reporters that they want to solve the problem with Uber through dialogue, adding that roadblocks are not an option as part of the Uber drivers strike. She assures that they do not want to make it difficult for citizens to move. In the end, she added that tomorrow is the day for the payment of funds and that she hopes that there will be no delays.

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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Taxis in Croatia: Ridecar Begins Providing Services in Zagreb

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.

Make sure to follow our news page for more information on taxis in Croatia and much more.


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

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Uber Rolls Out Newer, Marked Vehicles from Today

What's the latest at Uber?