How Taxi fares are set in Helsinki and Finland - Pricing changes in 2018
Finland decided to deregulate taxi transport. Starting from July 2018 onwards there will no longer be a limited number of licenses, and prices can vary per taxi operator. This is a significant change as standard metered pricing is now a thing of the past in the Nordic country.
After the deregulation comes into play there will be a number of different companies operating at different rates. Exact details on how the pricing system will find it's way to are still not clear as the change is six months away at the time of writing in January 2018.
What is certain, there will be much more variance in pricing as opposed to the standard base fees and metering by kilometer. The market is already prepared for the change, and there is a number for start-ups and established operators setting up mobility services.
There will be no major change in payment methods. For decades taxis have accepted major Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express…). Cash will be accepted, but it is mostly a curiosity. In addition there will obviously be the wealth of smartphone apps with payment options.
From ambitious MaaS (Mobility as a Service) like Whim to premium providers like Kovanen, and lower tier operators like FixuTaxi will be available in the market. The global operator Uber left the country in 2017, but vowed to return once the taxi regulation has been dismantled. There are no details if Lyft, another international operator will enter the market.
Despite the changes, it is not likely that the taxi market in Helsinki will become a "wild west". Traditions are long in the Taxi profession and companies and drivers are trustworthy. Even the drunken pass out taxi drive often ends well that the driver walks you to the door and makes sure you get in.
A similar deregulation has been in place in Sweden for some years, and there some bad apples who charge customers too much. Most of the taxis there have a fare table in the window and the meter will run - similar model will likely be adopted by the Eastern neighbors in Finland.
Hailing a taxi and service companies in Helsinki
Hailing a taxi on the road is possible, and there are special taxi stops (taksitolppa) where cars can be found. You can order taxis online using these services:
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