Uber to return to Budapest after eight years

On-demand ride share service company Uber will return to Budapest as a yellow taxi in cooperation with cab company Főtaxi, with a fixed fare system and in compliance with local regulations, while maintaining the existing working hours and fare structure of Főtaxi, news portal 24.hu reported on Wednesday.
Összeurópai vizsgálat indulhat az Uberrel szemben

It turned out on Tuesday morning that

uber is returning to budapest in cooperation with főtaxi.

The comeback comes against the backdrop of a partnership that will allow the re-launch of a ride sharing service in the Hungarian capital, which left the market in 2016 under pressure from "traditional" taxi companies.

New legislation, which came into effect on 24 July 2016, essentially banned Uber by prescribing passenger transport companies to operate dispatch services, whereas Uber, by definition, does not need such a service, being a mobile application-based company. The EU urged a compromise solution but to no avail.

According to the information published by hvg.hu, F Mobilitás Ltd., a subsidiary of Főtaxi and a partner of Uber, will operate as a separate platform. This means that only Uber drivers can be booked through Uber's application, while passengers will still be able to access the services of Főtaxi through its own contact details (phone or mobile app).

In this regard, it was pointed out that Uber's service in Budapest will differ from the international practice of the company: it will operate on a fixed-price system, not using dynamic pricing, which would depend on the type of vehicle used and the demand at a given time.

Furthermore, according to Világgazdaság, Főtaxi has sent an information letter to its drivers informing them of the new developments - the information letter shows that Uber is fully compliant with Hungarian law in this form.

The communication also stresses that neither the way of accounting nor the requirements imposed on drivers will change; for example, the rates of membership fees and the working hours will remain unchanged.

In the end, it is emphasized that Főtaxi will continue to maintain its position as the official taxi service provider for Liszt Ferenc International Airport, Balaton Sound and the Sziget Festival. This means that although new elements will be added to the Budapest taxi market, in some key areas the operators and their services will remain unchanged.

The Uber app was opened almost 100,000 times in Budapest in 2023, even though the service was not available in the city.

"Uber works with taxi companies around the world, and the feedback is clear: Uber and taxis can do more together. The partnership is a win-win for everyone: it helps taxi drivers earn more money, people have more travel options, and Budapest transport becomes more efficient," said Eszter Kardos, Uber's Country Manager in Hungary.

Uber is now one of the largest platforms in the world, providing earning opportunities for its contracted partners and is an integral part of the daily lives of more than 100 million people. The company currently operates in over 10,000 cities around the world under regulated conditions.

Cover photo: Shutterstock


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