Carrying out the reform of the taxi market in Ukraine in a five-year perspective can create 100,000 jobs, according to the Uber taxi service.
“I believe that the adoption of a civilized reform will lead, firstly, to an increase in passenger safety, and secondly, to an inflow of foreign investments into Ukraine, and as a result to the creation of jobs. We estimate that the taxi reform may create 100,000 jobs in Ukraine over a five-year perspective,” Uber’s Development Director in Central and Eastern Europe Georgii Sokolianskyi said during an online discussion on the taxi market on Thursday.
According to him, the main obstacle to the development of the taxi market in Ukraine is the lack of sufficiently high-quality cars for those who are ready to work in this sector, since cars and loans in Ukraine are very expensive, especially in comparison with the EU countries.
Sokolianskyi also said that platforms such as Uber often reach agreements with car manufacturers on special terms of purchase, with leasing companies on cheaper loans, potentially secured by companies. At the same time, there is a model on the market for working with private drivers, when the platform gives money for the first payment for a car, and in return the driver agrees to brand the car for a certain period.
“At the same time, neither we, nor private investors in vehicle fleets can invest in an illegal market, where investments may be lost tomorrow if the head of the State Service of Ukraine for Transport Safety (Ukrtransbezpeka) or the head of the National Police changes,” Sokolianskyi said.
He said that due to problems with regulation in the taxi sector, Ukraine often loses competition for investment to other countries.
“For an investor, the rule of law, fair courts and transparent regulation are always important. And, perhaps, today we cannot change the quality of Ukrainian legal proceedings, but we can change the transparency of taxi regulation,” Uber’s Development Director in Central and Eastern Europe said.
The Kyivstar mobile communication operator launches the service to pay for the 838 taxi service using SMS messages, the press service of the company reported on Thursday. According to the press release, the service is available to all Kyivstar prepaid subscribers in 15 cities of Ukraine where the 838 taxi service operates.
The payment is settled using the Kyivstar’s Smart-Money financial service. To do this, when ordering, one need to specify the Smart-Money payment method from Kyivstar or download the Taxi 838 application in the App Store or Google Play and select the appropriate form of payment. At the same time, one does not need to enter information about a credit card. It is enough for the subscriber to have the necessary amount on his mobile account. “The service is simple, safe and does not require a passenger to enter personal data,” the press service said, quoting Head of Kyivstar’s Mobile Financial Services Serhiy Koptik.
According to the operator’s estimates, more than 150,000 subscribers can potentially use the application. This is exactly the number of Kyivstar customers who have called the 838 taxi service over the past few months, although less than 17% of passengers used credit card payments. “This suggests that Ukrainians are still afraid of leaving information about their credit cards in applications,” Koptik said.
The operator said that more than 2,500 active services were posted on the Smart-Money platform, and more than 10 million transactions with it were implemented. The most popular services are payment for telecommunication services, national lotteries, online purchases, and public transport fares.
The Bolt taxi ride service (earlier Taxify) is launching the electric scooter ride service in Ukraine and by spring 2020 the service will be available in the text mode in the UNIT.City innovation park, Bolt Country Manager Taras Potichny said during the presentation of the new service in Kyiv on Thursday.
“We are the first in Ukraine to launch a service that is popular in many cities around the world. I am glad that we are changing the market, changing the look of the city, making it even more modern. Electric scooters really solve many problems. It often happens that moving around the city center by car is quite difficult, but driving a few kilometers on an electric scooter is easy, fast and brings pleasure,” Potichny said.
The cost of using electric scooters in Kyiv will be published after the full official launch of the project.
“The price has not yet been formed. In Eastern Europe, it amounts to 60-70% of the average check for the cost of a taxi. In Kyiv, it is UAH 100-110. Accordingly, the average trip on a scooter will cost UAH 60-70. The price will be formed from the opposite: EUR 1 usually costs the scooter unlocking itself, and one minute – UAH 1-2. This is the framework in which we will determine the price,” the country manager said.
At the same time, he added that for the test period the price will be significantly reduced, then it will be regulated depending on the demand of the service.
The Bolt fleet has Segway NineBolt ES4 electric scooters with a maximum speed of 25 km per hour and a range of 45 km.
To start using the service, you need to find a scooter, unlock it using the QR code in the application, get to your destination and leave it in any convenient and safe place. The service can only be used by persons 18 years or above: when registering an account, the user will have to indicate the date of birth.
“The rent price for an electric scooter will include the unlock price and the price per minute of use. For cases where it is planned to travel a lot and payment per minute is unprofitable for the client, Bolt will set the price for renting a scooter for the whole day. No matter how long you drive around the city, your card will not be charged more than the set price,” the company said.
Places where you can rent a scooter will be located in the city center, usually near transport hubs and the most visited points. You can see where the nearest scooter locations are in the same application as for ordering a car.
It is planned that in the evenings, Bolt employees will collect scooters around the city and put them on charge so that the next morning they can be found in familiar locations.
“We are proud that the first electric scooter rental point in Ukraine appeared in UNIT.City. This is fully consistent with our idea to build an eco-friendly city in a city,” UNIT.City CEO Dominique Piotet said.
According to Potichny, after a successful launch in Kyiv, the company plans to launch the service in other cities of Ukraine.
“We would love to expand further. There are many more tourist sites with fairly closed centers: the same Odesa or Lviv, where you cannot get around the center by car. First we test this on the streets of Kyiv and will gradually expand and develop in others cities,” he said.
Earlier Bolt launched a courier delivery service by a driver in Ukraine.
As reported, Тaxify was launched in Kyiv in 2016 under the franchise agreement. In June 2018, the company relaunched the project in Kyiv with own local team, promising to enter other large cities of Ukraine.
Early March 2019, Тaxify changed its name to Bolt.
The Bolt taxi service (formerly Taxify) plans to launch a Bolt Food delivery service in Ukraine in 2020.
“The demand for food delivery in Ukraine is quite high. We see great potential and are working on launching a food delivery service in Ukraine in 2020,” a company’s press service quotes its regional manager in Ukraine Taras Potichny as saying.
According to him, the first Bolt Food service will start working in Tallinn. By the end of 2019, the service also may launch in Latvia, Lithuania, South Africa, and on other European and African markets in 2020.
As reported, Bolt plans to launch a scooter rental service in Ukraine and is mulling Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa as possible launch points.
In early March Taxify was renamed Bolt.
The Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) estimates the volume of the illegal taxi market in Ukraine at 93-98% with the market volume being UAH 40 billion a year, head of the Infrastructure sector at BRDO Vladyslav Prytomanov has said during the round table “The taxi services market” in Kyiv. “According to experts, the total volume of the taxi market in Ukraine is UAH 40 billion a year, which are distributed between carriers (UAH 36 billion) and information and dispatch services (UAH 4 billion). At the same time, the level of market shadowing ranges from 93% to 98%, about 95% on average,” he said.
According to BRDO, there are about 220,000 taxi drivers in Ukraine, serving 280 million passengers annually. The average cost of a taxi ride in Ukraine is relatively low compared to other countries and amounts to UAH 60-90 for a trip within the city.
The expert noted that the budget revenues from the taxi market work are 1-3% of the minimum projected.
Speaker of the Association of Responsible Carriers public organization Oleksandr Diachenko, in turn, said that according to a study conducted by GfK, 42.7% of drivers are willing to work with an illegal taxi service if they need to pay 15-20% of taxes for legal work.