Romanian goverment passes bill legalising alternative transport services like Uber, Bolt

Paul Barbu 26/06/2019 | 12:14

Alternative transport services such as Clever, Uber or Bolt have become legal in Romania after the Dancila government adopted an emergency order regulating these types of services, after months of legislative uncertainty faced by drivers using the ridesharing apps and protests by taxi drivers who claimed that the apps were unfairly competing on the passenger transport market.

“We will establish a formula that will ensure the safe transport of passengers and encourage competition, so that citizens can opt for the best quality services,” said PM Viorica Dancila at the beginning of Tuesday’s government meeting.

Meanwhile, the transport, industry, IT, legal and budget committees in the lower chamber of Parliament were also looking at a draft bill on the regulation of ridesharing services. The chairman of the transport committee had asked the government not to pass an emergency order on the issue and instead let the Parliament pass the legislation. The bill being analysed in the Parliament, he said, would take on all the provisions included in the government’s OUG, with the exception of the bill’s three-year validity limit.

What the ridesharing regulation says

Alternative transport apps must be authorized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Society, and the authorization becomes valid after the company pays a yearly authorization fee of RON 50,000.

In turn, the alternative transport operator will have to obtain a permit for alternative transport from the territorial agency of the Romanian Road Authority.

The alternative transport authorization shall be issued within a maximum of 15 working days for a period of 3 years after the payment by the alternate carrier of a charge of RON 300. The alternative transport authorization is non-transferable.

Vehicles must meet the following conditions:

  • have a maximum of 5 seats, including the driver’s seat;
  • carry out a periodic technical inspection (ITP) every 6 months;
  • comply with the technical rules on road safety, environmental protection and use as intended;
  • have the corresponding copy of the alternative transport authorization.

Drivers must meet all of the following conditions:

  • be at least 21 years old and have a certificate of professional training for the transport of persons under a rental arrangement issued by ARR;
  • hold a Category B drivers’ license that is at least 2 years old;
  • have a clean criminal record;
  • be physically and psychologically fit for to carry out passenger transport activities;
  • to not have had their drivers’ license suspended in the past year for driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or psychoactive substances or have been involved in road traffic accidents resulting in the death or serious injury of one or more persons.
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