Estonian Parliament's Language Requirement for Taxi Drivers: Bolt Warns of Economic Impact

Due to a recent initiative in the Estonian parliament to introduce a mandatory requirement for taxi drivers to speak Estonian, Bolt has issued a statement warning of the economic and social consequences of this move.

Estonian Parliament's Language Requirement for Taxi Drivers: Bolt Warn

According to Bolt representatives, the implementation of this initiative will lead to significant changes in the taxi service market. The company believes that banning the use of Russian could cause a sharp decline in the number of taxi drivers. Preliminary estimates suggest that Estonia could lose up to half of its working taxi drivers, which would inevitably lead to higher service prices and longer wait times for cars.

Potential Consequences

If the initiative is approved, competition among the remaining drivers will significantly increase, affecting the level of service and the availability of taxis for the population. Bolt explained that the majority of drivers in the country are Russian-speaking, and many may not have sufficient proficiency in Estonian to meet the new requirements.

Additionally, the company noted that these changes could complicate the hiring process for new drivers, exacerbating the problem of staff shortages. As a result, to compensate for the reduced supply and meet demand, the company will have to raise ride fares. Bolt estimates that taxi prices could double.

Reaction of Drivers and Clients

Many taxi drivers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the potential changes, pointing out that the mandatory requirement to know Estonian would complicate their work and necessitate retraining, which is not always feasible. Drivers believe that knowledge of Russian is sufficient for effectively serving customers, especially in multicultural cities.

Customers are also concerned about potential price increases and longer wait times. "I use taxis daily, and if prices double, it will seriously affect my budget," shared a local resident of Tallinn.

Next Steps

Currently, the initiative is under discussion, and a final decision has not yet been made. Bolt hopes that the authorities will consider the opinions of businesses and the public before implementing new requirements. The company is ready for dialogue and cooperation to find a compromise solution that will satisfy all market participants and not harm the country's economy.

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