Survey shows support for app-based taxi services

Ljubljana – A majority of Slovenians would welcome better transparency and quality as well as the use of mobile applications in taxi services, a survey by pollster Valicon has shown. Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec sees this as a clear endorsement of legislation allowing Uber and other app-based transport services to Slovenia.

The legislative changes are, however, opposed by taxi drivers, who staged a protest in the afternoon. The parliamentary Infrastructure Committee was scheduled to discuss the legislation tomorrow, but the session was postponed due to lockdown.

Vrtovec said today the survey showed most people wanted a modern and digital country. “It is time that they are heard,” he said, expressing confidence that a modern digital solution would be available in Slovenia soon.

Some 69% of the respondents said they supported legislative changes allowing more transparency and quality of taxi services and the possibility of mobile apps use, such as Uber, Valicon partner Andraž Zorko said.

“It is sad that in 21st century we have not been able to take a step forward and enable users to simply order and pay through an app. I find this incredulous,” Vrtovec said.

Dubbing the planned changes a taxi reform, Vrtovec said the method of basing the price exclusively on the taxi metre was outdated.

The changes envisage that the user will know in advance the route and the price of the ride, as well as whether the car is clean and whether the driver smokes, he said.

He underlined that the changes include social safeguards. “This will not go in the direction of a so-called exploitation system.”

Marko Grobelnik of the Jožef Stefan Institute said an application would make everything more transparent for the passengers, the drivers and the state. “This has to happen sooner rather than later, it is no question at all whether it will happen.”

The Slovenian Automobile Association (AMZS) director Lucija Živa Sajevec also believes a mobility transformation is taking place. But this does not only involve mobile applications, but also public transport, co-share of cars, bikes and so on.