Finnish taxi prices, Uber and the police – an expensive mess

You only have one price for every destination when you jump in any taxi in Helsinki or elsewhere in Finland. Like chemists, retail shops, banks, insurance companies here, there is very little real competition and guaranteed high prices.

Uber has arrived on our shores but they are not any cheaper, (same price or more expensive than normal taxis), and, even worse, you can find yourself in an uninsured, unlicensed car with the police demanding you to step out of the car! Finnish police have decided that Uber drivers are running an illegal taxi business, something that is a criminal offense. If found guilty your life will be hell when trying to get another job!

I stopped using Uber after reading the “contract” they sent to me by email. They do not provide any guarantee that the driver is insured, licensed, pays his taxes, or fit for the job. It is up to the passenger to discover! If I am jumping in a taxi I ordered through Uber and to whom my credit card details are given and to whom I pay, then Uber IS responsible.

Likewise, Uber is responsible for the illegal and criminal acts of the drivers it “employs”, even though they assiduously claim that they do not employ the drivers… Uber now knows that many of their drivers have been charged with a criminal activity. It should not take a genius to conclude that they, the owners and management of Uber are also guilty of furthering criminal activities.

Finland’s problem is that taxi sharing and taxi freelance operations should be opened to the market for individual drivers and taxi companies. Simple licensing of drivers would ensure safety – a criminal record or non-payment of taxes would disqualify any driver. In all of the last 5 taxis in which I have travelled, speed limits were ignored and two red lights challenged!

We have enough public transport and enough of our own cars not to worry too much about a lack of taxis in the countryside.

Politicians’ refusal to deal with the taxi monopoly and anti-competition regulation is a shocking misuse and abuse of power against the interests of the consumer.

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