Russian-owned ride-sharing service Yandex Taxi says it is suspending its activity in Romania citing ‘rigid’ local regulations.
„Yandex Taxi is suspending its activity in Bucharest and Romania. The rigid legislation for passenger transport doesn’t allow us to efficiently develop the service,” Yandex Taxi, which operated as Yango in Romania, said in a statement according to Ziarul Financiar.
Romanian users will still be able to use the Yango application in the 16 countries where the service is still available, the company said.
The company launched Yango in Romania in June 2019 and opened a training center for drivers jointly with a partner in Bucharest. The company did not have its own cars or drivers and worked with local partners.
Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Bolt say business was flattened during the first two month of the coronavirus pandemic during a lockdown. It has picked up, but is not at same the level of 2019..
Last year, the Romanian government passed an emergency decree regulating the operations of ride-sharing platforms, which had found themselves stuck in a legal deadlock after the government enforced a new regulation saying that car drivers holding no license for transporting passengers for a fee can be fined on the spot.
Then deputy prime minister Gabriel Suciu said at the time that the emergency decree was targeting ‘pirates’ operating in taxi services and not ride-sharing companies, the regulation did not state explicitly that the partner drivers wouldn’t be fined.
Yandex.Taxi was launched in 2011 by Russian technology group, Yandex, known as the „Russian Google’ and currently operates in 16 countries in Europe including Estonia, Latvia, Finland, and Serbia, the Middle East and Africa, according to its website.