Pandemic hits Poland’s taxi firms hard

The pandemic in Poland had a significant impact on taxi drivers. Up to 6,000 of them were forced to suspend their activities from March to May this year. Competition from bike and scooter sharing also had a contributing factor.

The analysis prepared by the Bisnode Business Information for the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita showed that in the first three months of the epidemic, more than three times as many taxi operators than in the previous year withdrew from the market. The daily points out that this is the equivalent of every second licensed driver disappearing from the roads of Warsaw.

The study shows that recommendations to stay at home for the duration of the epidemic had an influence on the number of taxi journeys, with drivers gradually losing bookings from airports, railway stations and companies.

Many smaller operators in the industry are under threat. The National Debt Register shows that the average taxi driver is PLN 26,000 (EUR 5,612) in debt. At the end of April, liabilities for the entire industry reached around PLN 120 mln (EUR 26.9 mln). Additionally, the industry was hit by competition from shared vehicles, which took customers away from taxi drivers.