The Public Council for Taxi Development (Public Council) has sent a proposal to the Economic Committee of the Federation Council to allow migrants to work as taxi drivers for two years, RBC reports, citing the Public Council chairperson Irina Zaripova. 

The admission of migrants will help solve the problem of personnel shortage in the sector, which has been felt since the beginning of 2023.  According to Zaripova, the problem is associated with a decrease in the number of unemployed and a large number of mobilized drivers.

She was quoted as saying that taxi is the sector that people go to when unemployment is high, according to the chairman of the council.  

The Federation Council has not yet commented on the initiative.

According to Maxim Taxi, the shortage of drivers in Russia ranges from 500,000 to 700,000 people.  Meanwhile, the Association of Self-Employed People of Russia estimated it at 2.5 million people.

In November, Yandex Taxi reportedly estimated an increase in the cost of trips by 17-27% year-on-year in regions with cities with a population of over a million due to a shortage of drivers, a decrease in the number of migrants in the industry, rising costs for cars and their maintenance, and a simultaneous increase in demand for travel in a taxi by 20%.  According to the company, in order to balance supply and demand during the peak season, it is necessary to attract about 80 thousand drivers.

According to a government think tank, the shortfall is 72,000, and the total number of taxi licenses issued has fallen by 13.6% since the new taxi law came into force in September 2023.

As of December 1, 2023, drivers with licenses from Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and other countries where Russian is one of the official languages ​​can work in taxis.  The rest must obtain a Russian driver’s license.  In practice, receiving it may take two to three months.

At the beginning of October 2023, a bill was submitted to the State Duma (Russia’s lower chamber of parliament) that would prohibit foreigners from working in taxi industry, schools and medical institutions.  Foreigners can no longer work as taxi drivers in Chelyabinsk, Kaliningrad and Tyumen regions.