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Taxi price regulation to be abolished

Government leaders reached a compromise on planned taxi industry reforms on Tuesday. While operation of a taxi will still require a license, regulations on pricing will be abolished - but there will be no limit to the number of taxi licenses that can be issued. The changes will take effect in July 2018.

Takseja Tampereen rautatieaseman taksitolpalla
Taxis in Tampere. File photo. Image: Jousia Lappi / Yle

The Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner's original proposal was to allow chauffeurs to drive taxis without permits as long as they earned below 10,000 euros per year.

While those changes weren't made, the reforms that were approved could make it a little easier for independent drivers to become chauffeurs.

Berner presented her updated transport plan on Tuesday. But quite a lot of pushback against the proposal came from members of the Finns Party.

The Finns Party's main argument was that a completely free taxi market would hurt residents in rural areas, something with which Berner disagreed.

Trafi could still set price caps if necessary

While regulations on pricing would be abolished, Berner said the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi would still be able to set price caps if it deems to be necessary.

As taxi laws currently stand, every year regulators set absolute maximum cab fare price caps which then effectively become the standard taxi fares for the year.

Both taxi companies and their chauffeured vehicles will be required to be registered in Finland.

Additionally, taxi drivers will have to meet language and other requirements. In order to become a licensed taxi driver, people will need clean criminal records and be able to assist customers with special needs.

The reforms will also require taxi chauffeurs to be able to tell customers the final cost of taxi trips before departure.

The reform package will go into effect on July 1, 2018 and is scheduled to be presented to Parliament on Thursday.

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