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Riksdag move to fight Stockholm taxi-fare battle

Riksdag move to fight Stockholm taxi-fare battle

Published: 27 Apr 2012 10:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Apr 2012 10:57 GMT+02:00

After increased discussions about the problem with taxi drivers in Stockholm, the parliament decided Wednesday to begin taking steps towards regulating the city’s taxi service.

The parliament discussed the issue on Wednesday, in the wake of a slew of recent Swedish media attention in which it was reported how wildly varying a taxi fare can be in the nation’s capital.

The Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN) claimed that a taxi ride from the Arlanda airport to central Stockholm can cost anywhere from 300 kronor ($45) to over a thousand, depending which taxi is chosen.

The government decided to appoint a commission and to introduce mandatory reporting centres. There will also be a new requirement for the taxi drivers' local knowledge, which used to be required in Stockholm earlier but was removed on April 1st this year.

The drivers will also be controlled through the Swedish Tax Authority (Skatteverket) and will be required to report their incomes.

While the new laws will not affect the drivers on the black market, the tax agency considers that this increase in reporting earnings will allow access to withheld taxes that are estimated to be worth around one to 1.5 billion kronor per year.

The process of bringing the laws into effect is something that MP Anders Ygeman of the Riksdag's committee on traffic (Trafikutskottet) believes may take up to a year, but will be worthwhile.

“You can’t get access to all the tax evasion, but by establishing these reporting centres, the tax agency believes it can bring in 400 million kronor through the operation of taxis with clear signs,” he told DN.

However, the introduction of the new laws still leaves the possibility of exorbitant taxi prices aimed at visitors to Sweden.

“We still will have the freedom of set prices, so the drivers are doing nothing illegal, even if it is deeply immoral and aims to trick travellers,” he told the paper.

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Your comments about this article

11:57 April 27, 2012 by johan rebel
"drivers will be required to report their incomes"

Huh? Duh? What? Come again?

Is this something entirely new in Sweden? Can it be true? They will actually have to REPORT their incomes? How terrible! How awful! That's a gross infringement of their human rights! Where is the ECJ? Has anybody called the UN yet? HRW? Amnesty?

Something must be done at once!
12:01 April 27, 2012 by Beavis
the biggest problem is obviously Arlanda.. and its such an easy fix.

The airport needs to take a stronger role, after all it is their "customers" it ettects.

At the moment a tourist arrives outside terminal 5. there are 4 queues for the seperate taxi companies. A tourist has no idea what the difference is.

There is a "coordinator" sitting acroos the way but this person does effectlivly nothing.

Solution:

the airport puts up a fixed price list on the wall outside which all taxi companies contractually agree to. Any taxi (private operator) or taxi company who does not have a contract is not permitted to park and collect passengers. On the sign it also states that if a taxi driver charges more that the stated fare to inform the airport information desk on return for a refund of the difference (inforrm to have receipt). The taxi driver who overcharges will be in breach of contract, will pay the differnce times 5 or pay the differnce and the contract is cancelled. The contracts are charged at a fixed rate per year in order to pay for any admiistration the airport needs to do..
13:11 April 27, 2012 by hipersons1
It seems they took up the problem in parliament only to decide to solve a different problem: the country's bottom line rather than the individuals bottom line. Great. Make it more expensive to be a legal taxi driver in Sweden, that'll teach em.
14:08 April 27, 2012 by fikatid
In many cities around the world such as New York, there is a government imposed flat rate to and from the airport.

NYC:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/passenger/taxicab_rate.shtml

We should have something like that if the Swedish government would really want to solve the taxi-ripping-off-tourists issue. It just seems that the Swedish government is only thinking about tax revenue but ignoring the bottom line of the issue.
14:37 April 27, 2012 by Lukestar1991
'the parliament decided Wednesday to begin taking steps'

Shouldn't there be a little 'on' somewhere in there The Local?

After all, when you have a website in English, you dont speak American English, you speak English English don't you??
16:01 April 27, 2012 by karex
#4

Since when has the Swedish government EVER worried about anything else other than tax revenues and their own salaries and benefits (hopefully tax-free in their eyes) of course.

It becomes glaringly obvious when one compares the prison time served by those who cheat on their taxes as opposed to one who commits murder, rape or other serious crime.
18:13 April 27, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Not only a fixed rate from the airport, but initially a few plainclothes tax inspectors posing as incoming tourists.

And obviously for trips within the city, there should be clearly posted and legally binding rates (base fare + SEK/km or SEK/minute) so that a buyer can compare.

Finally, the distance should be the REAL distance in km that one can verify on a smart phone , and not some unofficial guided tour of the greater Stockholm area just to massively crank up the fare.

Re: #6

And with the extra revenue from the taxi tax collection, and extra revenue from seizing all financial assets of convicted murderers and rapists, there should be enough funds to lock up more of all violent scum for a much longer period of time
04:21 April 28, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
"We still will have the freedom of set prices, so the drivers are doing nothing illegal, even if it is deeply immoral and aims to trick travellers," he told the paper.

So in other words NOTHING is being done to fix this problem!
13:47 April 30, 2012 by Abe L
Yes employ more government officials for a problem that can be fixed instantly without adding more expenses to the tax-payer. No need to introduce commissions and government instances.

Regulate the price they can charge for ALL trips and not just the Arlanda-Stockholm part and make operating a black taxi business punishable with jail-time for a minimum of 5-10 years.
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