Russian cabbies establish National Union

Russian taxi drivers, whose business is under the threat of legal restrictions, will create a Russian National Taxi Drivers Union for better cooperation with the government and customers, the head of Russian motorists’ movement, Vyacheslav Lysakov, said.

On August 3, taxi drivers will gather for a nationwide cabbies meeting in Moscow to discuss the upcoming law that puts restrictions both on taxi drivers and taxi companies.

“We must explain to people that the law should be adhered to because it is the law, but it can be improved and corrected,” Lysakov said, adding that the future union will be “a non-commercial organization…keeping a balance between the interests of the government, taxi drivers and customers.”

The new law that will come into force on September 1 obliges taxi companies to equip their cars with cash registers and paint them one single color. Under the law, taxi drivers will also have to obtain a business license. A fine of $170 will be imposed on drivers without the proper business license.

The upcoming law has already triggered protests among taxi drivers. In early June, Moscow cabbies pushed to postpone its implementation as they believe the law was adopted in order to squeeze small taxi companies and private cabs out of the market.

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