The transport company Cabify operates since last Thursday in Barcelona under the legal form of the most traditional vehicles with driver (VTC) companies and, therefore, considers that his return to Barcelona it is legally supported, according to the documentation of the legal services of the company.
According to this legal and operational form, which is applied to traditional VTC services used by clients such as hotels or other companies from different sectors, the pre-contracting of the 15 minutes that the Generalitat has imposed is not applicable at the time of the request of each trip, a differentiated procedure of the contracting of the transport service.
Sources of the sector point out that the return of Cabify to Barcelona "is very well armed and legally supported, it has been the object of a very thorough work and in the event that it was questioned or some action was taken against it, in practice, to do the same with the other traditional VTC companies that continue to operate in Catalonia normally. "
Since last Thursday, notes the legal analysis of the company, "the service provided by Cabify in Catalonia to its users is transport – and not the travel agency, which is what he had been using so far in Barcelona and is still valid in the rest of Spain – under the same conditions that traditional companies in the VTC sector have been carrying out, whose survival the Generalitat itself has declared that it wants to guarantee ".
To start up this new model, Cabify acquired a transport company, VTC Prestige & Limousine, SL, which is the company through which it has started to provide its services since last Thursday in Barcelona. Cabify has subscribed with this company the cession of the brand and the use of the APP to contract its services.
In practice, this means that the service it has begun to provide in Catalonia is transport, with a different legal regime from the one it had been using, from a travel agency.
According to the company's legal documentation, which has been shared with the rest of the members of the employer's association, Unauto VTC, "users who wish to travel to Catalonia must accept certain terms and conditions under which VTC Prestige & Limousine undertakes to provide them with a service of leasing of vehicles with driver ".
These services may be provided by the Prestige & Limousine itself, its cars and drivers, or other VTC companies, which in this way may join this new way of operating, by signing a contract for the provision of the same service through the operating company of Cabify in Catalonia.
"According to the business model described," says Cabify's documentation, "it can be argued with the Generalitat that the contracting of the transport service by the user is made when the latter accepts the conditions of the transportation service that will be offered through the Cabify application, so that it is at that moment from which you must compute the term of 15 minutes that has elapsed between the contract and the beginning of the journey ".
Moment of hiring
This affirmation is verified in the own article 4 of the Decree Law approved by the Generalitat, that establishes that "for the effects of guaranteeing the fulfillment of the conditions of provision of the service of the article 182.1 of the Royal Decree 1211/1990 and, in particular, of the pre-contracting of the service, there must be a minimum time interval of 15 minutes between the contracting and the actual provision of the service ".
For Cabify, "it is evident that the Decree of the Generalitat refers to the 'contracting', and not to the 'request for services', as the moment from which the fifteen minutes are computed" and, therefore, "the formula chosen to operate in Catalonia is 100% compliant with the regulations in force and has been defended by the Generalitat for traditional VTCs, which is how Cabify is now operating in Barcelona ".
Cabify announced last Thursday by surprise its return to Barcelona, after something more than a month without operating, after the closure of the VTC that work with the Spanish mobility company. And it did so by ensuring that it complied with the new regulations approved by the Generalitat.
Despite pushing this new business model, Cabify itself highlighted in its statement that this legal modality is not the most suitable, since it is more burdensome, having to incur greater costs to put it into practice. In fact, he also affirmed that the previous model of travel agency that used in Catalonia up to the Decree Law of the Generalitat, and that continues using in the rest of Spain, allows a much better service provision for the users.
Recover activity in Catalonia
Cabify also stressed that the most relevant in its decision to modify the business model has been to rescue the VTC sector and the nearly 2,000 jobs that had been suspended after the decree of the Generalitat.
In just 24 hours, Cabify reached more than 50,000 users who accepted the new terms and conditions and have started to use their services again, without any incident. In an initial phase, the company expects to operate with a fleet of around 300 vehicles, although it trusts that new VTC companies, which had paralyzed their operations in Barcelona following the decree of the Generalitat, will join this new way of operating through of Cabify.