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Move EU

26 June 2024

Move EU Webinar: Tackling obstacles in the ride-hailing sector in the 2024-2029 term

Press Release

On 20 June 2024, Move EU, the association of the main ride-hailing service providers in the EU organized a webinar on tackling obstacles in the ride-hailing sector in the Commission’s 2024-2029 term. To take stock of current best practices and discuss the opportunities for on-demand mobility in the years ahead, we were joined by high-level public and private stakeholders from the mobility world:

Pierpaolo Settembri, Head of Unit, DG MOVE, European Commission
Jens Müller, Deputy Director, Clean Cities Campaign
Peter Staelens, Head of Mobility, Eurocities
Luana Bidasca, EU Affairs Manager, EIT Urban Mobility
Aurélien Pozzana, Move EU Chair
Moderator: Hugues de Maupeou, Move EU

Panellists identified ride-hailing as one of the key transport modes in fostering decarbonization, reducing private car ownership and complementing public transport. They shared the ideas of how to develop data sharing with partner cities and help to address the needs of less dense areas.

During the discussion, burdensome and in many cases illogical national and local regulations were identified as a key challenge for the sector. Those rules undermine the sector’s ambitious goals of decarbonization and a level playing field with traditional taxi providers. Overregulation also hinders ride-hailing services and customers and it may lead to inflated prices leading to transport poverty.

The panellists agreed that a pan-European approach is needed to address these issues and to ensure that customers have similar services throughout the EU. Panellists identified the following legislative actions for the next term:  MDMS, the greening of corporate fleets and the update of the European Commission Notice on taxis and PHVs.


Statements of the speakers:

Pierpaolo Settembri, European Commission, emphasized that the discussion is very timely as the Commission expects mobility to be a key element of the upcoming EU strategic agenda 2024-2029 which will be adopted by the European Council by the end of June 2024. He took stock of the work done in the ride-hailing sector in the past 5 years: starting with the publication of the Commission Notice on taxis and private hire vehicles with drivers (PHVs) in 2022 and the European Court of Justice (ECJ)’s decision in the Barcelona case in 2023. The ECJ ruling provided much clarity on the aspects not addressed in the European Commission’s Notice such as quotas for taxis and PHVs. According to Mr. Settembri, the three main challenges to consider are the request for a level playing field, the integration of ride-hailing into urban areas and decarbonisation. He mentioned that those challenges may or may not lead to regulatory interventions. He took note of the expectations for updating the European Commission Notice.

Aurélien Pozzana, Move EU Chair, described ride-hailing as an integral part of the urban transport options that contributes to reducing individual car usage and complements public transport. He stressed that the sector is still facing harmful and outdated regulations throughout the EU that hinder the growth of the sector. He gave an example of such absurd rules that force the drivers to have huge cars even though most rides have only one passenger. Other examples of absurd rules include having to get back to the “garage” if the driver does not get a ride immediately or a mandatory waiting period between two rides. Mr. Pozzana acknowledged that good work has been done by the European Commission in the last 5 years but much progress has to be made to have balanced rules in the Member States and reduce fragmentation of regulatory patchwork. There is a need for a single market for shared mobility and he stressed that Europe can be a global champion of shared mobility.

Luana Bidasca, EIT Urban Mobility, advocated for enhancing connectivity through new mobility services such as ride-hailing and shared mobility while maintaining public transport as the backbone of mobility. She emphasized the need for matchmaking solutions between service providers and users in both urban and rural areas taking into account different challenges they face to reduce private car ownership. However, demand-responsive transport fails to compete with private car ownership in rural and less dense areas. She flagged that the value proposition should be considered beyond service cost and revenues, looking at the benefits of delivering access to education, culture, work opportunities and healthcare. Ms. Bidasca stressed the importance of establishing good connectivity to mobility hubs and the need to address transport poverty and improve services beyond the core TEN-T network. Better access to guidelines and tools for public transport authorities is needed to enhance their capabilities in tendering procedures.

Jens Müller, Clean Cities Campaign, shared his criticism of fragmented regulations like the requirements for the minimum size of the vehicle that undermines the decarbonization efforts. He also welcomed positive initiatives from the ride-hailing service providers, like the installed ability to order an EV, financial support for drivers to invest in cleaner vehicles and efforts to install alternative charging infrastructure. He stressed the need to harmonize the level of information available regarding emissions impact to ensure fair competition. He would like to see that the 2035 phase-out date for ICE is maintained, greening corporate fleets and cities putting in place the necessary charging infrastructure.

Peter Staelens, Eurocities, acknowledged the new mobility services role in a society with less private cars as a good supplement to public transport. He advocated for collaboration between cities and mobility service providers to set up adaptable ecosystems for data sharing. He stressed the role of cities when it comes to licensing and soft regulation to find the right balance among the different expectations of private and public players. The priorities of Eurocities for the next term are the 2035 phase-out date for fossil fuels vehicles being secured, vehicle energy efficiency regulated, imports of EVs properly regulated and future deployment of ride-hailing.

Please click here to download the press release.

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