Updated at 19:48,25-10-2020

Uber partners in Minsk losing licenses, planning to sue

Belsat

The license of one of the transport companies, which cooperated with the Uber had its license stopped. Another similar company expected to lose its lisense soon.

Other carriers which collaborated with the service were also checked. “Their [Uber’s] scheme is wrong and is not suitable for our market,” believes the Transport Inspectorate and explain how the service will be able to work in this country without breaking the law and why only Uber is having problems but “Yandex. Taxi “, for example, will continue to work completely legally.

The task “to examine the situation with Uber” was set already on February 8 by the chairman of the Minsk Executive Committee Andrei Shorets. According to the capital’s taxi drivers, the arrival of the low-budget Uber to the Belarusian market put them on an unequal footing with the drivers who worked with this company. On February 25, the Ministry of Transport terminated the license of one of the main partners of Uber – “Molberg.”

“This is not a temporary suspension, but a complete withdrawal of the special permit (license) – this measure was used for gross breach of the current legislation,” said Head of the Office for Management Control of the Transport Activities of the Transport Inspectorate at the Ministry of Transport Ivan Aliseyka.

The transportation service carried out “targeted thematic unscheduled operational testing activities of the Uber partner companies” finding no purchase order on hiring a vehicle and no certificate for the state technical inspection received once in 6 months (as it is regulated by the legislation for cars, engaged in commercial transportation of passengers).

Aliseyka explained: in Belarus there are two kinds of commercial passenger transportation — regular and irregular (including taxis). The latter is possible on the following conditions: it is a public contract (all the “traditional” taxi services operate this way) or chartering contract vehicle (so-called purchase order, rent a car with a driver operates this way). Moreover, all vehicles weighing less than 5 tons that carry out commercial transportation of passengers are obliged to travel with yellow numbers and be inspected twice a year, even if they do not consider themselves to be a taxi, stress in the Transport Inspectorate of Ministry of Transport.

“Minibuses, for example, are also not taxis, but they make commercial passenger transfers and are subject to the same rules,” said Aliseyka.

As far as Auto.tut.by is aware, transport services checked not specific carriers, but the entire system. Violations were recorded so far only with those who were checked – so far it has been a private trading unitary enterprise “Molberg” and “Belevrorent Fleet Solutions”. Security checks will continue.

There are no problems with the Uber competition which has recently come to our market – “Yandex. Taxi “: they operate on a different principle – they chose as a partner the 135 taxi service, which has more than 100 partner enterprises, carriers and SPs. All of their cars are regular taxis: yellow number plates and inspection twice a year.

Following the decision to terminate the license, the carrier has 15 working days to complete its operations. Before that it can work legally – what Molberg is doing now.

“There is a massive information campaign against Uber, initiated by the players who are not interested in the appearance of the service with absolutely transparent financial flows in the area of ​​transportation,” said the representative of Uber in Belarus Yauheniya Shypova.

The Uber service is not a taxi: it is a car rental with driver for a short time, said representatives of the service. “The request for the trip is placed exclusively in digital format by the app users. For this reason, we are not subject to the requirements for taxi vehicles — we do not have mandatory marking, yellow number plates and other attributes that are needed in a taxi. Inspection and payment of toll is done by the Uber partners once in a year or two (depending on the car production year) the car and driver rental service does not require inspection twice a year, as well as conclusion of the agreement on different conditions,” stressed the representative of Uber.