Representatives of the Confederation of Authorized Operators and Carriers in Romania (COTAR) will bring up to 6,000 vehicles in front of the Government headquarters in a protest action organised on Wednesday and Thursday amid discontent with piracy in the sector.
According to the organisers, following the protest actions, the participating carriers will not carry out any kind of rides so that the inhabitants of Ilfov County (the county that surrounds the capital – ed. n.) will no longer have means of transport.
“Taxi drivers and road hauliers have asked the Government for an Emergency Ordinance to eliminate piracy on this market, but no response has been given so far. According to the Bucharest City Hall’s General Council approval, the protesters may bring in front of the Government headquarters up to 6,000 vehicles – taxis, buses and minibuses. On the two-day protest, 26th and 27th of April, the carriers participating in the protest will not provide any rides.We apologize for the discomfort to our customers, Ilfov county inhabitants, who will no longer have transport means on the protest days, and Bucharest inhabitants, in order to claim the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Romania saying that no one is above the law,” reads a press release by COTAR remitted to AGERPRES on Tuesday.
The hauliers’ representatives are calling on authorities to outlaw online technology platforms that provide unauthorized taxi services and all online platforms that provide undeclared, unlicensed transport services in Romania and unauthorized by law.
In addition, they demand that all companies that ship regularly on routes for which they have not participated in auctions and have not earned the right to operate them be outlawed. At the same time, COTAR seeks the annulment of the General Council decision, which established to introduce the Bucharest Public Transport Administration (RATB) on all routes between Bucharest and Ilfov, which were auctioned and won and then operated, according to the law, by private carriers.
According to the source, the General Council of Bucharest thus commits two major abuses, by making unfair competition to private carriers who have invested more than 25 million euro in the businesses they are now also endangering by the decision to subsidize Ilfov transport from Bucharest’s money.
“It seems that someone purposely intends to take us to the streets. We really do not understand why we need to organize protests to defend Romania’s economy instead of the Government and the Parliament. If we are invited to negotiations on the first day of protest and we will reach an agreement with the Government, the action will not be extended,” said Vasile Stefanescu, president of COTAR.