A taxi fare price war has broken out in Bulgaria’s second city Plovdiv, with almost all taxi companies having dramatically reduced tariffs at the beginning of 2013.
The price reductions were prompted not only by a cut in the price of methane gas, commonly used as fuel for taxis, by 10 stotinki (about five euro cents) but also by competition for more customers in the city.
Taxi fares have been reduced by an average of 20 stotinki, to about 45 stotinki a km during the day and 55 stotinki at night. As it was, taxi fares in Plovdiv generally have been cheaper than in Sofia, given that the second city is economically well behind the capital.
Dian Stanev, owner of a taxi company in Plovdiv, told television station bTV that people were in a severe financial situation after the holidays and “we are just helping people”.
Taxi drivers, however, were not happy about the reduced tariffs.
Mladen Dimitrov said that the reduced prices had not resulted in more customers.
Taxi firms that had not reduced their fares saw the price war as unfair competition, the report said. Residents of Plovdiv, according to the report, were suspicious about the reduced fares, concerned that in a few months some companies would have been eliminated from the market in the city and tariffs would revert to their previous levels.