The Norwegian Competition Authority has taken a decision to introduce a new fare calculation system, the so-called parallel fare system, for all taxis in the country. The purpose is to make it easier for taxi customers to compare prices. The new regulation enters into force on 1 January 2011.
– The purpose of the new regulations is to make it easier for taxi customers to compare prices. In addition, the new tariff system will make it easier for customers to check whether the price they pay for a taxi ride is correct, says Director Jostein Skaar of the Authority.
The new parallel rate system is being introduced in both regulated and unregulated areas. A parallel tariff means that both distance and time are priced during the entire taxi ride, regardless of the taxi’s speed. The current system of so-called single system calculation method makes it difficult for customers to know how much of a taxi journey will be calculated according to the distance rate, when the taxi exceeds a given speed, and how much according to the time rate, when it is slower.
– The tariff system that is now being implemented will be an important basis for further work by the Competition Authority, together with the Consumer Council and the Consumer Ombudsman, to improve the price information available to taxi customers, says Skaar.
The regulation does not apply to the contract segment, such as tenders for the transport of patients for the health system.
Brief information on the regulation of taxi rates
Pursuant to the Price Policy Act, the Norwegian Competition Authority establishes maximum prices for taxi services in areas without competition. Taxis are free to charge lower prices than the maximum prices.
Maximum prices are not regulated in areas where there is sufficient competition between taxis or taxi central dispatching service companies. This applies to most major cities and certain other densely populated areas. In these areas, taxis can set prices freely