Taxis in Podgorica to Get More Expensive?

By , 16 May 2019, 16:27 PM Lifestyle
Taxi service in Podgorica Taxi service in Podgorica Luka Zekovic

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The Traffic Secretariat has accepted the proposals of the taxi drivers and in the new draft of the decision to arrange the taxi transport, the start of the first tariff will range from 50 cents to one euro, which will be the price range per one-kilometer ride.

When it comes to night driving the price per kilometer is planned in the range between 60 cents to one euro. The decision will be made by the members of the Assembly of the Capital City at the next session.

Traffic Secretary Lazarela Kalezic explains that they came to meet the needs of the taxi drivers when it comes to the night and holiday tariff, where it will also rise in price.

The starting price and ride per kilometer by night instead of 40 cents to one euro will move from 60 cents to one euro.

"The draft decision on taxi transport was at a public hearing giving the opportunity for the people in this area and the public to point out some of the attitudes regarding the solution of the problem. Several issues have been in the focus of the decision making, especially as the new Law on Land Transport defines the obligation of local self-government to introduce new elements in the regulation of car-taxi transportation, referring to the introduction of startup and other tariffs. At the public hearing, taxi drivers complained about the values ​​given for tariffs and services considering them to be too low. Everyone asked for a higher starting price and a kilometer ride, ranging from 50 cents to one euro. We've considered everything that has been suggested and made some changes. We have accepted that the lower limit for the start and a ride per one kilometer runs from 0.50, and the taxi drivers are to determine how much the price will be. It is also accepted that the night tariff and the ride during the holidays range from 60 cents to one euro as they asked," says Kalezic.

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She points out that the starting price and ride per one kilometer for the transport outside the city will be increased, instead of 0.40 cents to one euro, this range will now be from 0.50 to one euro.

"We believe that giving a price range from 50 cents to one euro is a good mechanism for taxis to define on their own estimations and calculations what is profitable to them," says Kalezic.

He added that he would soon announce a public debate report, which would answer all the suggestions made by the taxi drivers on the cab transport decision.

It should be noted that changes to and amendments to the new law on road traffic have to be made, concerning the introduction of a cash-register, services. When the Ministry makes the mentioned amendment, all municipalities will have to make new decisions on taxi rides.

Self-employed entrepreneurs are satisfied that their proposals have been accepted to increase start-up price and ride per kilometer, but also the tariff during night-time. They argue that the increase is realistic and that the taxi service in Podgorica will still be the cheapest in comparison to other cities in Montenegro.

Public transport from the past century

Stanko Radonjic Boulevard’s residents on Tuski put asked the Secretariat for the introduction of bus lines in this part of the settlement. Transport Secretary Lazarela Kalezic announced that two requests were made for the introduction of this line.

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Kalezic states that new bus lines will be in focus in the coming period.

She says that in this part of the settlement had been previously introduced a trial bus line that proved to be non-profitable.

"There were not enough passengers to make this line last longer. With new concepts of public transport, we have to cover the whole city, but this concept has to reconcile profitable and unprofitable lines. The condition of certain roads sometimes causes transporters to be in a difficult situation, their buses get broken," says Kalezic. She adds that they are preparing an application that will be available to all users to track the arrival of the buses on mobile phones. Kalezic says that in the city they are aware that the city vehicle fleet needs to be renovated. We need money for this, but we are thinking of purchasing electricity and gas buses or those using alternative fuels. Current urban transport, old buses that use oil as fuel, pollute the air. She states that buses which are currently in use are old and not comfortable. "In Podgorica, we have 109 buses covering 29 lines. The profitability of city transportation everywhere in the world is questionable. We are thinking of introducing electric buses and this would lead to a reduction in the use of expensive conventional fuel. Also, we are thinking of somewhat enhancing the role of the City when it comes to transportation," says Kalezic. 

They do not separate the taxi stands

The Traffic Secretariat did not accept the taxi driver's proposal to split the taxi stands, to clarify which one belongs to the companies and which to the independent entrepreneurs. Kalezic says that the attitude is for the taxi stands to remain independent as specified in the Decision on taxi transport.

"The draft decision defines that the taxi stands are free and that the same principle applies for everyone. Many workers in this area expressed their disapproval of such a solution, considering that they did not respond to what their position was in the earlier period, that they had developed a taxi stand over a long time and that such solutions would affect their business. That is why we would like to keep the taxi stands vacant because we believe that those who are now starting to do the business as taxi drivers are in an unequal position concerning those who carry out this activity for many years," Kalezic said.

The Trade Union of the taxi drivers in Montenegro is dissatisfied with the final position of the Transport Secretariat that the taxi stands in the city should remain vacant, which is why they submitted an initiative to Ivan Vukovic, the mayor of Podgorica and Lazarela Kalezic, the traffic secretary, seeking to separate the same, i.e. to specify which one belongs to the companies and  which one to self-employed entrepreneurs. Over 200 independent entrepreneurs signed the petition.

In Podgorica, there are currently 300 taxi stands on which vehicles that are not registered for this activity are parked.

Text by Boban Novovic, on May 15th, 2019, read more at Vijesti

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