Passenger Transport Act: Fixed taxi tariffs should drop, more rights for Uber

The federal government wants to make it easier for new providers to enter the taxi and driver service market. Like the news magazine Focus, citing Union parliamentary group deputy Ulrich Lange (CSU) reported, Union and SPD have agreed on an amendment to the Passenger Transportation Act. It permanently allows pooling offers by transport services in which several passengers share a vehicle. This gives providers such as Uber or the Volkswagen subsidiary Moia legal certainty.

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So far, many new providers are only traveling on the basis of limited exemptions. The rigid tariffs for the conventional taxi industry are also to fall, according to the agreement. So it should be one “Tariff corridor with maximum and minimum prices” or “Tariffs without time factor” the coalition’s three-page reform paper. The Federal Ministry of Transport should make a corresponding wording proposal.

Controversial return obligation for taxi-like offers like Uber remains

This should also strengthen rural areas. “It will be easier to respond flexibly to demand with smaller vehicles, where there is currently only a short supply with a scheduled bus according to the timetable”Lange told Focus.

The controversial obligation to return for taxi-like offers such as Uber remains unchanged. “In this way we ensure more competition on the mobility market within clearly defined limits”Lange told Focus. The taxi industry had previously rejected an amendment to the law because, according to the plans of Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU), the obligation to return should be abolished for providers like Uber. But Scheuer could not prevail.

The president of the IT industry association Bitkom, Achim Berg, said about the amendment in the area of ​​ride pooling and ride sharing: “This legal certainty can help ensure that more inexpensive and environmentally friendly mobility offers are also created outside of the big cities. However, the amendment is not a big hit.” The planned quota for ride pooling leaves many questions unanswered, such as the basis on which municipalities can set an upper limit for providers. Likewise, a minimum number of providers for approval of ride pooling, especially in smaller municipalities, will mean that there will still be no offers at all. The electronic order acceptance for rental cars is only tackled half-heartedly. Although this is now permitted in principle, it must still take place at the company headquarters and must not go directly to the driver.

Berg also criticized the coalition for missing the opportunity to remove the obligation to return from the Passenger Transport Act. This means that vehicles from companies whose trips can be booked, for example, via apps from Uber or Free Now Ride, must return empty to the company headquarters after each trip if they do not have a direct follow-up order or are given a return trip. This state-prescribed duty to drive empty is economically and ecologically harmful, said Berg.

The obligation to return for orderless rental cars must continue
the German taxi and rental car association, however, demanded in a position paper; “The taxi system as part of the public service would end with the removal of the obligation to return. If the obligation to return is abolished,
Politicians open all gates for companies like Uber. “

Corresponding providers could decide economically when and where there were lucrative trips, and could only serve this demand. Taxis could not do this: they had an operating and transportation obligation and would have to cover all needs around the clock, whether lucrative or not. Companies like Uber presented themselves as a placement platform that received 25 percent of the earnings from the trips they brokered.

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