Update2: Ordinance on taxi business, enforced. Minister Cuc says ban of Uber is fake news

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The emergency ordinance amending the taxi business has come into force on Thursday.

The Uber and Bolt (Taxify) representatives say the applications will not be closed down, but it is up to the drivers if they perform passenger transport on not.

Transport Minister Razvan Cuc said on Thursday the information regarding the banning of Uber and other companied of ride sharing is ‘fake news’ and that the field will be soon regulated.

“I’ve had a meeting with the platforms Uber, Clever, etc. to explain them they will not be banned. I see there is fake news that Uber has been banned. (…) Nobody will ban them. No regulations were made in the past 5 years in this field, the PSD governance will regulate the field. They were satisfied they’ve had a partner for dialogue in the past month, there are several issued we need to consider, we will approach this project transparently. We have to regulate the field technically and legally, but the problem has not been to ban them. The ordinance in April is to fight piracy. Uber is not piracy, there is a serious confusion here,” Minister Cuc said on Thursday.

Under the pressure of taxi drivers blocking the Victoriei Square, on March 29 the Viorica Dancila cabinet adopted an ordinance which radically changes Law 38/2003 on the rules for passenger transport for fees. More precisely, according to the ordinance, the only ones allowed to conduct such activities – except for bus drivers and the persons hired by rent-a-car companies – will be the taxi-drivers having valid licenses, ziare.com reports.

Hence, the Uber and Taxify drivers, who do not have taxi licenses and also cannot obtain them, by the law – would be sanctioned as of Thursday, May 16, with fines of up to RON 5,000 and with confiscation of the registration plates for 6 months, if caught while transporting passengers for fees.

The ride-sharing application UBER has been banned in Cluj Napoca in late April, following the decision of the Court of Appeals in a lawsuit opened by taxi drivers.

The lawsuit was opened two years ago. The first court had also ruled in favour of the taxi drivers on ground of unfair competition.

The Confederation of Operators and Carriers in Romania (COTAR) repeatedly staged protests in Victoriei Square to complain against the drivers using the UBER/Taxify (Bolt) platforms.

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