The Reform Party may be ready to open the door to companies such as Uber and Lyft being allowed to operate in Iceland.
On a live TV debate, Reform Party MP Þorsteinn Víglundsson and Icelandic Taxi Drivers’ Union chairman Ásgeir Þorsteinsson, discussed the proposals.
Víglundsson stated that when there is a shortage in the market, prices rise. He proposed allowing a free competition subject to certain conditions.
Taxi Drivers’ Union Chairman Ásgeir Þorsteinsson, countered Víglundsson by stating that there is no shortage of taxis in the country.
Þorsteinsson also said, when quizzed about ride hailing apps “The only thing we are thinking about is the consumer’s safety.”
Iceland has some of the most treacherous roads on the planet. An inexperienced driver, operating as a private hire vehicle via an app-based service, could spell disaster. A large proportion of Icelands interior is inaccessible, and even in cities such as Reykjavik and Akureyri, road travel can be appalling for several months of the year. This in itself must raise alarm bells to anybody contemplating opening up the market to those who aren't qualified to drive a taxi.
This therefore begs the question as to why The Reform Party are contemplating this action given the problems that could ensue.