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Barcelona wants to force Uber and Cabify to get a special permit to operate

The city council wants to limit the number of rental vehicles with driver so that they do not compete with taxis

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Barcelona wants to force Uber and Cabify to get a special permit to operate

The mayor of Barcelona and, at same time, president of metropolitan area of Barcelona (AMB), Ada Colau, has signed this Monday a decree with which "impels creation" of a special authorization for vehicles of rent with Driver (VTC), licenses that They use companies like Cabify or Uber. In this way, Colau intends to create a "metropolitan regulation own" in area of Barcelona, so that this type of vehicles not only have to have ir license, which by law can only grant Autonomous Communities, but also an authorization of AMB. The mayor aims to regulate sector and not to assume unfair competition for taxi.

Colau has made this announcement after meeting, in consistory, with main representatives of taxi sector. A meeting that has taken place hours before collectives in Catalan sector decide this afternoon if y strike again. The regulation will be drafted after meetings between different political formations and entities of taxi. Colau aims to be approved, after period of allegations, between February and March.

However, re are doubts as to wher this additional regulation can be applied, as competition for licensing VTC depends on regional government. "We cannot give or remove licenses, but we have competences in public transport, traffic management, pollution ..." We cannot allow incorporation of 3,000 vehicles more than se characteristics to existing 850, so we will use our competencies to limit number of cars that can operate in metropolitan area, ' has maintained mayor of Barcelona.

Authorization in 36 municipalities

The new regulation will establish that VTC, even if y are licensed, must request an authorization to AMB to circulate in ir 36 municipalities. Colau pretends that proportion is of a vehicle VTC for every 30 taxis. The councillor of Mobility and president of Metropolitan Institute of Taxi (Imet), Mercedes Vidal, has assured that fleet of taxis of all AMB is of 10,500, so with current licenses of VTC already surpass that proportion. Vidal admits that formulation has not yet been made but intends to have a draft in a few months.

All representatives of taxi sector have applauded news of creation of metropolitan authorisation. Luis López, of Taxi Companys, has asked "all city councils" to take an example in initiative of Colau and assume "ir competencies". Alberto Álvarez of Elite Taxi has branded decree of Colau as a "great step for fight against neoliberalism". "The government of PP destroys public services." We know that Catalan agency of competition will be challenged this new authorization, but we shall continue to fight, "Alvarez has maintained. Finally, Luis Berbel, of taxi trade union of Catalonia, denounced practices of VTC and concluded that only way to end se is to "regulate ir labour market".

Madrid rejects a new strike

On or hand, collectives of taxi of Madrid have met this Monday in Terminal 4 of Madrid-Barajas airport to debate if a new stoppage was summoned. The possibility that arose last Thursday, when even option of an indefinite strike was raised. However, members of National Taxi Association (ANTAXI) and Elite taxi in Madrid have declined this option. "It must be with Union of whole collective and all associations, something that does not happen right now," said Julio Sanz, president of Antaxi.

A lack of union that is manifested by refusal of Spanish Taxi Federation (FEDETAXI) to second a new strike. Much less, if it was an indefinite stoppage. "We opted to negotiate with Fomento and public administrations to correct a situation that is not fair for taxi drivers", have secured from Fedetaxi.

This afternoon re will be anor assembly to debate wher to strike in metropolitan area of Barcelona. An option that seems complicated, even more after announcement this morning of Ada Colau, which has been supported by main associations of taxi in Catalonia.

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