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23 Jun. 2023

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How to call a taxi during curfews and air raids: rates and conditions

Transport
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Krieg
Ukraine

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How to call a taxi during curfews and air raids: rates and conditions

Due to the extension of martial law, restrictions are in effect almost throughout Ukraine. Find out more about the cost of calling a taxi during the curfew and how the tariffs have changed since the beginning of the full-scale invasion

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After February 24, 2022, ordering a taxi in the evening becomes a real challenge. The closer it is to the curfew, which usually starts at midnight, the harder it is to find a free taxi at a normal fare.


Similar problems arise during air raids. Public ground transportation stops working, and the Kyiv metro stops running between the left and right banks of the city.


Additionally, during air raids, the Darnytskyi bridge is closed in the direction of the city center. The only options to cover this distance are minibuses, trains, and taxis.


However, the cost of a taxi is increasing significantly due to increased demand and complicated routes. What is the cost of a taxi ride before curfew and during air raids? Find out in our article.


How have taxi fares changed since the beginning of the full-scale invasion?


The increase in taxi prices was the result of rising fuel costs or fuel shortages. Drivers had to spend more time looking for fuel. This additional time was offset by the cost of the trip. For these reasons, Bolt was forced to raise fares in all cities in March 2022.


Usually, before the curfew or immediately after the end of the air raid, the cost of travel increases. This is the most popular time to order a taxi.


Find out the duration of the curfew in your region here.


How has the taxi market changed compared to the pre-war period?


The situation on the taxi market has undergone significant changes since February 24, 2022. In the first weeks of the full-scale invasion, as confirmed by the leading taxi services, Uklon, Uber, and Bolt, the number of passengers and drivers decreased significantly. 


Bolt, for example, reports that the number of trips, especially in the frontline areas, dropped by 70-90%. However, this figure has now returned to 90% of the pre-war level.


Within a short time, demand began to recover, and the number of drivers increased. Many Ukrainians moving to safer regions were looking for income opportunities, and taxis became an attractive option for car owners.


Sergiy Pavlyk, Head of Ride Ordering at Bolt, confirms in an article for the EP that the highest user activity is observed in the western and central regions, where more than 50% of trips are made. Some cities have surpassed pre-war levels in terms of the number of rides and are showing optimistic indicators.


Uber also notes that before the war started, they had more than 400,000 passengers and almost 30,000 drivers, but after February 24, some drivers stopped working actively. Currently, the company employs about 25 thousand drivers in different cities of the country.


Uklon notes that in March 2022, there were only 12% of orders in Kyiv compared to pre-war figures. A similar situation was observed in the east and south of the country.


Now in most regions, the company reports a recovery in the number of trips to almost 100% of pre-war levels. Even the de-occupied territories, including Kherson, are gradually recovering, emphasizes Uklon co-founder Sergiy Smus.


An interesting fact is the change in the average distance of taxi rides. This is especially noticeable in Kyiv, where the average distance used to be 9.2 km, and now it has decreased to less than 9 km. This is due to the fact that a significant share of trips used to be made to Boryspil Airport, which is now closed.




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How much does a taxi cost in the capital?


The cost of a taxi in Kyiv can vary depending on various factors, such as demand, time of day, availability of drivers, traffic congestion, and air alerts. 


In particular, during lunchtime, when the roads are usually less congested, prices are moderate.


In the event of an air alert, the cost of Uklon and Bolt rides more than doubles, and Uber rides more than doubles, making it the most affordable option.


To reduce the cost of a trip, you can choose the right place of departure. For example, call a taxi on the opposite side of the road where you want to continue your journey.


In the central parts of many cities, one-way traffic has been introduced, forcing drivers to make unnecessary detours to turn around. This increases the distance traveled and the cost of the trip. It is more profitable for a passenger to cross to the opposite side of the road and order a taxi there.




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How does the cost of a taxi change during peak hours?


There is a hypothesis that ordering a taxi 10-15 minutes before peak hours (after 18:00) can be cheaper. However, this rule does not always hold true.


As for the possibility of ordering a taxi during the curfew, this is possible only if the driver has a special pass. Only Uklon provides such an opportunity, as their app works around the clock. However, it should be noted that the company is not responsible if the driver does not have a valid pass.


Uber and Bolt services are not available during the curfew.


Have the working conditions of drivers in the taxi industry changed?


The war has significantly affected the work of taxi drivers. At Bolt, drivers now have the opportunity to see in advance where the customer is going, as well as information about the cost and payment method of the order. Thus, the driver can decide whether to accept or decline the order.


This feature is important before the curfew, as the driver immediately sees whether he or she will have time to get home after the trip is over.


Uklon has also made changes to its working conditions. Now, to register with the service, drivers without Ukrainian citizenship must confirm their right to stay in Ukraine and speak Ukrainian.


In addition, at the beginning of the war in Kyiv and frontline cities, the company completely abandoned the collection of commissions from drivers. This meant that the driver received the full amount paid by the passenger. Gradually, as the situation improved, the commissions were restored. 


Currently, only drivers in the frontline city of Kherson work without commissions.


Find out about liability for violating the curfew, what to do if you are stopped, and how to get home during the restrictions here.




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