Update2: The Federation of Romanian Carriers (FORT), the Monitoring Association Taxi Transilvania and Clever have announced on Tuesday they have challenged in court the national representativeness of COTAR in terms of dialogue with the authorities.
The three organizations say, in a release, that the file no. 16992/3/2019 was submitted to the Bucharest Court. They thus express dissatisfaction regarding the COTAR actions to promote interests they consider as unrepresentative for the sector.
The three organizations claim that the lack of representativeness is an obstruction for the efforts to modernize the legal framework and to ensure real competition for this industry.
Augustin Hagiu, FORT President, argues that COTAR should have been made up by at least two employers’ federations and to have members active in all kinds of activities of the sector, these criteria are not met. Furthermore, part of the confederation’s members is no longer active, with the current number of members failing to meet the minimum conditions by the law.
In turn, Ioan Pugna, vice-president of the Monitoring Association Taxi Transilvania says COTAR no longer represents the interests of the taxi industry as a whole, only of some transport companies which want to set up monopoly in passenger transport and to protect the interests of some carrier employers.
Update: Several hundred taxi drivers are protesting Tuesday morning in front of Parliament against the draft bill on ridesharing, suspecting unfair competition, in breach of several laws in force. The carriers said on Monday they expect 800 cars to take part in the protest.
“COTAR resumes the protests and urges the authorities to observe the law. The authorized carriers will be in the street with 800 cars, in Constitutiei Square, on Tuesday, June 18, during 9.00h-15.00h, against the draft bill on the so-called ridesharing – a veiled form of unfair competition to the taxi drivers, by violating several laws in force,” a release from the Confederation reads.
The carriers argue that the draft bill will generate serious and illegal discriminations. Actually the taxi regime will be regulated by two different laws: one for yellow cabs, imprinted, with drivers observing certain rules and paying taxes and the other one having no restrictions, not even in terms of taxation, the transporters say, realitatea.net reports.
The release also calls on the authorities to observe the law regarding influence peddling, noticing that lobby is being conducted.
The draft emergency ordinance on legalizing the ridesharing services has heated the passenger transport sector. Last week, the Transport Minister had talks with both parties, without any progress. The Uber, Bolt and Clever representatives want the draft approved by the Government as soon as possible, on the other hand the taxi drivers claim the draft bill will put down their businesses.