Alapblog compared taxi prices to local wages in 6 Eastern European countries. Hungary is the least affordable after state controlled prices set in (and keep rising).
The chart compares the price of a 10km taxi ride in six cities, Budapest, Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Bucharest (from left to right). The bars represent the number of 10km rides one can take on an average salary. 60 on a Hungarian salary in Budapest. 175 on a Romanian salary in Bucharest.
On this unembeddable Inforgam.com chart you can compare Eastern European taxi prices for a 10 km ride in the capital – according to February 2018 prices and in forints. (Data: numbeo.com Hungarian state controlled prices have since gone up again.)
|Taxi prices in European cities (315 HUF = 1 EUR)|
|Base fare||HUF/Km||Waiting||Controlled or Market price||Note|
|London Tariff 3||983||987||276||controlled||night, weekend|
|London Tariff 1||983||649||181||controlled||weekday|
|München||1103||504||137||controlled||between 5-10 km|
|Barcelona 2||662||410||114||controlled||night (except weekend)|
|Paris B||1206||406||200||capped||night, weekend|
|Vienna 2||1355||403||146||Controlled||night, weekend|
|Bratislava||1257||365||82||market price||Fun Taxi, on street|
|Ljubljana (Numbeo)||315||280||72||market price||typical average|
|Warsaw 2 (Merc, Halo)||573||258||48||capped||night, weekend|
|Zagreb (Numbeo)||576||247||27||market price||typical average|
|Belgrade 2||437||218||32||controlled||night, weekend|
|Vilnius (Numbeo)||221||217||46||typical average|
|Riga (Numbeo)||630||189||42||typical average|
|Bratislava||1257||176||82||market price||Fun Taxi, phone|
|Tallinn (Numbeo)||788||173||116||typical average|
|Warsaw 1 (Merc, Halo)||565||169||47||capped||daytime|
|Bratislava (Numbeo)||945||167||63||market price||typical average|
|Sofia (Numbeo)||127||127||35||market price||typical average|
State controlled prices and the banning of competition increased prices for Hungarians to this point. And on top of it, there is even a massive shortage of taxis in Budapest.
You can’t just find a car in downtown in broad daylight on a weekday. The reason is that even though taxis have to charge the higher state price for a ride, they also have to pass on most of that money to their companies – and ultimately to the politicians who let the price control happen. That is why it is not so profitable to ride a taxi in Hungary, even before we count in the high cost of starting a taxi.
And now, barriers to entry to becoming a taxi driver are not about your safety. All they can do is what Uber also did, check the drivers’ criminal record and driving skills. That wouldn’t stop new drivers from entering the market. The rest of the pointless regulation does. Take the color of a taxi, for instance. One of a thousand requirements, but a pretty easy-to-understand barrier. If you want to start driving a taxi, you have to have your car painted regulatory yellow. It wouldn’t be such a great expense, but… There is only one company that is licensed to use that color, and that company happens to be owned by someone close to the regime. Yes, it is that petty. Now imagine a few dozen similar “safety” requirements that you have to pass before you are allowed to undertake the incredibly complex and complicated task of driving someone from A to B. The increased barrier to entering the market also includes a hostile bureaucratic and tax environment on small entrepreneurs like the drivers normally are.
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