April 2, 2019 / 1:54 PM / 2 months ago

Poland plans stricter rules for transport companies like Uber

WARSAW, April 2 (Reuters) - Poland will require Uber to use licensed taxi drivers from next year, under a plan approved by the cabinet on Tuesday aimed at creating fair competition.

Polish taxi drivers have staged protests demanding equal rules for themselves and drivers of app-based car firms such as Uber, mytaxi and itaxi, which have become hugely popular in Polish cities but licensed taxi drivers complain they are driving down taxi fares.

They plan to hold another demonstration in Warsaw next week.

The new law to impose stricter rules on such app-based transport companies, if passed by parliament, will come into effect at the start of next year.

Uber has faced opposition to its low-cost service in other countries around the world, including in Poland's neighbour Czech Republic which also plans to require Uber drivers to be licensed.

In Poland, there had been speculation that Uber and other app-based taxi firms would come under greater scrutiny.

Daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported in January, citing Uber's regional chief and Polish ministers, that Uber will invest 37 million zloty ($9.7 million) in its R&D centre near Krakow this year, creating an additional 250 jobs. The newspaper speculated that Uber was hoping the job creation would be welcomed by the government and discourage it from tightening regulations against the company.

Uber did not respond to an emailed request for comment on Tuesday. ($1 = 3.8335 zlotys) (Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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