Uber Budapest car on the street
Uber Budapest car on the street

Finally! Uber Budapest has returned to the city!

In Budapest, the Uber service launched on June 13, 2024. From this date onwards, anyone can request the mentioned service.

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Why did Uber Budapest stop operating in the city back then?

Uber has relaunched its services in Budapest after an eight-year hiatus, partnering with the local taxi company Főtaxi. This reintroduction, which came into effect in early 2024, marks a significant shift from Uber’s previous operations in the city.

Back in 2016, Uber ceased operations in Budapest due to stringent regulations that required all passenger transport companies to operate dispatch services, a model incompatible with Uber’s app-based service. The new partnership allows Uber to return under a model compliant with Hungarian regulations, ensuring that the service aligns with local laws and operates within a fixed fare structure. This partnership also means that Uber will not use its usual dynamic pricing system, which adjusts fares based on demand and vehicle type.

A win-win situation

The operational model in Budapest involves F Mobilitás Ltd., a subsidiary of Főtaxi, which will run as a separate platform where Uber drivers can be booked exclusively through the Uber app. This setup ensures that while Uber is back in the market, it operates under a structure that maintains Főtaxi’s existing fare systems and operational standards.

This move is seen as beneficial for both parties: it provides Uber with a foothold in the Budapest market again, and Főtaxi benefits from increased ride requests through the Uber app. According to Eszter Kardos, Uber’s Country Manager in Hungary, this partnership is expected to enhance transportation options in Budapest and provide taxi drivers with more earning opportunities.

People were curious about it even when it was not operating

The Uber app’s popularity in Budapest was evident even before the relaunch, with the app being opened nearly 100,000 times in 2023 despite the service being unavailable at that time.

How much does Uber cost in Budapest?

Unfortunately, since Uber Budapest doesn’t operate in the traditional sense in the city, it’s impossible to give exact fares through the Uber app. However, their return utilizes Főtaxi’s network, so we can get a general idea:

Budapest taxis have a base fare and a per-kilometer rate.

As of now, the initial fare upon entering a taxi is 1100 HUF (€3), with an extra 440 HUF (€1.20) per kilometre travelled. Additionally, there is a waiting fee of 110 HUF (€0.30) per minute.

These fares remain consistent throughout the day and night, with no additional charges for luggage. However, it is advisable to verify the latest rates either online or directly with the taxi driver, as prices may fluctuate.

Keep in mind:

  • These are approximations. The final fare depends on the distance and time of your journey.
  • Unlike Uber’s upfront pricing, you’ll likely rely on the taximeter in the car.
  • The fare structure does not include dynamic pricing, which means prices remain consistent regardless of demand fluctuations. This makes budgeting for a ride more predictable compared to Uber’s usual surge pricing model.

How does Uber Budapest work?

Of course, the primary goal of Uber Budapest service is to develop a technological solution that connects drivers and passengers on demand. The application operates as follows:

  • Passenger opens the app: the passenger starts by opening the Uber app on their smartphone.
  • System matches passenger with driver: the app uses GPS and algorithms to match the passenger with the nearest available driver.
  • Driver picks up passenger: once matched, the driver receives the passenger’s location and picks them up.
  • Driver takes passenger to destination: the driver transports the passenger to their specified destination.
  • Driver and passenger rate each other: after the trip, both the driver and the passenger have the option to rate each other, helping maintain service quality.

This seamless process ensures a quick and efficient way for passengers to get a ride and for drivers to find passengers.

What will be the size of the Uber Budapest fleet?

The Uber fleet in Budapest will consist of 2,500 drivers who have begun the registration process. It is important to note that these drivers are independent contractors, meaning they have the flexibility to work whenever and wherever they choose.

What do you expect from Uber drivers?

To become an Uber Budapest driver, one must comply with the local regulatory framework. This means drivers need to have the necessary legal documents specified by Hungarian law. There are specific criteria for both the vehicle and the driver, as well as for the business entity providing the taxi service.

Key requirements include:

  • Driver criteria: the driver must have the appropriate licenses and certifications required by Hungarian regulations.
  • Vehicle criteria: the vehicle must meet safety and quality standards set forth by local laws.
  • Business compliance: the entity offering the taxi service must be compliant with all relevant business and tax regulations.

This ensures that Uber operates within the legal framework of Budapest, maintaining the standards and safety required for both drivers and passengers.

It is particularly interesting that the competitors are working together

Uber collaborates with taxi companies in many locations around the world. Examples of this can be found in the USA and several major cities across Europe. Each partnership is somewhat unique, with its own specific characteristics, but the fact that Uber is open to working with taxi companies is a trend that has begun internationally.

What must an Uber car know?

The regulations in Budapest clearly specify the required appearance of taxis, including aspects such as color, decals, and their dimensions. While the front-facing Uber taxi light adheres to our international branding standards, the rear light must be amber, deviating from the brand guidelines to comply with local regulations. Each vehicle will feature an Uber sticker on both sides and an Uber “available” sign on top, making it similar in appearance to other taxis in Budapest. The Uber app functions identically in Budapest as it does in other countries, for both drivers and passengers.

What does the app do?

The Uber app includes several advanced safety features:

  • Anonymized communication: the app connects passengers and drivers anonymously, allowing them to communicate via phone or chat without revealing personal contact details.
  • Trip sharing: passengers can share their trip details in real-time with family or friends. This allows others to track the trip’s progress and ensure safety.
  • Activity monitoring: if a vehicle stops moving for an extended period, the app automatically sends a message to both the driver and the passenger to ensure everything is okay. If there are any issues, the app can quickly connect with police or dispatch services to address any problems.
  • Payment sharing: the app allows passengers to split the fare. The person who orders the taxi can send an invitation to split the fare, and once accepted, the cost is automatically divided among the passengers.
  • Receipt and trip summary: while drivers are required to provide a receipt, Uber immediately sends a trip summary via email and within the app, detailing the route, the driver, and other relevant information.

These features are designed to enhance the user experience and ensure safety and convenience for both passengers and drivers.

Can you pay with a credit card?

Yes, payment is primarily conducted within the app, but they also provide the option to pay by credit card, as this is a legal requirement.

Can you hail an Uber taxi on the street?

Yes, if the Uber taxi is available, you can hail it on the street. Of course you can take an Uber taxi not only within Budapest, but also outside the city – for example to Liszt Ferenc Airport.

Are driver ratings optional or mandatory in the app?

Driver ratings are always optional. However, both drivers and passengers appreciate the ability to rate the ride, and drivers often strive to receive high ratings.

What does an Uber driver look like?

There are no specific dress code requirements for Uber drivers. However, the importance of a clean environment and pleasant music are emphasized. Service provider does not require English proficiency, as the app can handle communication through its translation feature.

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