Transport Ministry introduces restrictions for BlaBlaCar and similar services
The ministry has presented the bill.
The Russian Ministry of Transport has completed developing a bill regulating online aggregators for joint car trips, Kommersant said with reference to the document. BlaBlaCar is the largest service of this kind in Russia.
The agency wants to impose a ban on the use of cash and make all payments between drivers and passengers online ones. They want to limit the daily number of trips for drivers to two; drivers will not be allowed to take more than five passengers at a time. Otherwise, they face a blockage.
The maximum amount of payment for a trip will be determined by the government of the Russian Federation with the prices of fuel, consumables and toll roads taken into account. Lawyers rated the bill as “particularly soft”. According to experts, BlaBlaCar will be able to maintain its position in the market, but the segment of regular bus traffic may suffer.
At the same time, smaller services might face difficulties as they are likely to be completely blocked, said Boris Loran, President of the Avtobusnyie Linii Strany Association.
At the end of 2018, 20 transport companies and individual entrepreneurs in the inter-regional public organization Passenger Carrier Association wanted to get BlaBlaCar banned. According to the protesters, the service contributes to the development of illegal transportation in the country and is not regulated by the law. The prosecutor's office had pointed it out earlier as well.
At the moment, according to open data, BlaBlaCar has more than 20 million users in Russia.