Serbia’s CarGo expands despite pressure from taxi lobby

CarGo, Serbia’s answer to the well-known ride-hailing taxi app Uber, has added 20 new Toyota hybrid cars to its fleet in the first part of a two-round investment process that will see the firm add a further 30 hybrid cars by the end of this year.

The Serbian start-up, founded in 2015, said that it has decided to fight for its right to do business by stepping up investments, “despite pressure from certain lobby groups and attempts to shut us down.”

Last month, the Serbian parliament adopted changes to the passenger transport law under pressure from taxi associations, who repeatedly blocked traffic in central Belgrade earlier this year in protest against CarGo.

Under the changes, alternative passenger transportation businesses, including innovative digital services such as CarGo, are banned from operating on the market.

However, backed by the largest eight IT organisations in Serbia, CarGo has continued operating despite the legislative changes. The organisations, the Niš Cluster of Advanced Technologies (NiCAT), the IT Cluster Subotica, ICT Network, the Vojvodina ICT Cluster, the ICT Cluster Central Serbia, the Digital Serbia Initiative, the Zrenjanin ICT Cluster and SEE ICT, urged parliament not to pass the changes and called for talks involving the IT sector to find a mutually acceptable solution.

Photo: CarGo app