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Saturday 22.07.2017 | Name days: Marija, Marika, Marina
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CC: Riga City Council’s rules distort the taxi service market

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe Competition Council has once again asked Riga City Council to ensure compliance with principles of equal competition and refrain from limiting the freedom of all taxi service providers to engage in healthy competition in Old Riga.

The previous rules dictated that those service providers who are active in Riga have to receive a special license issued by the municipal administration. This license allows service providers to work across the whole of Riga. However, following the approval of rules Nr.171 in October, a certain restriction has been adopted – in order for a taxi service provider to be able to work in Old Riga section, that service provider has to receive another municipal permit. The issue of this permit costs EUR 300 per year regardless of the number of cars owned by the service provider, CC reports.

According to results of a survey carried out by CC, a little over of 94% of passenger service providers in Riga have one to ten cars. Only 5% of service providers own 11 to 50 cars. Less than 1% of taxi service providers have more than 50 cars. With that, CC emphasizes – the application of a fine under such conditions is discriminatory and only services to distort competition and establish barriers for service providers to operate in Old Riga. It also increases the financial burden for service providers who have a small car park.

CC had previously asked Riga City Council and Environmental Ministry to address those rules and change them in order to avoid distortion of competition for taxi services in Old Riga.

CC emphasizes that it does not oppose the principle of a fee, as the municipality has the right to establish one in a special zone, which Old Riga is. What CC opposes is the application of unfair fees that only serve to limit the freedom of smaller taxi service providers to offer their services on par with their larger competitors.

Ref: 102.109.109.2634


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