July 27, 2021

Competition urges to have taxis and VTC for school or health transport routes



The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) recommends that public administrations have a taxi and rental vehicles with drivers (VTC), those that operate through platforms such as Uber and Cabify, instead of buses or ambulances to attend certain routes of school, health or labor transport.

The ‘superregulator’ considers that, in this way, a quality service is guaranteed to users, while reducing its cost to public coffers.

The CNMC considers that the routes of school transport in which the vehicles of cars can be “more convenient”, can be those of “rural areas with low population density”.

In the case of health transport, it points to the programmed assistance to hospital centers to receive treatments such as dialysis, radiotherapy or rehabilitation. He also considers it optimal for the regular displacement of public employees.

The commission’s study is based on the “complaints” that it claims to have received in recent years from transport operators who believe that the competent administrations exclude them “unfairly” from public tenders to carry out this type of transfer.

In his report, he confirms that, in Spain, school and labor transport routes are carried out “mostly by coach”, and sanitary, “by ambulance.”

Thus, after analyzing half a hundred tenders for this type of transport carried out by the administrations in recent years, the CNMC concludes that in some of them “the participation of operators has been restricted, resulting in sometimes damaged taxis and VTC operators “.

In addition, he believes that these limitations, “often the result of regulations”, have meant “a higher cost for public coffers and lower incentives to provide quality service.” In this way, all this violates the principle of “good regulation”, by enabling provisions “not necessary and proportionate to the general interest”.

Therefore, it recommends “avoid discrimination between taxi and VTC licenses, and that the operator must have a local transport license”.

It also urges administrations not to impose a certain vehicle based on the number of passengers on the route, to “clarify” the regulation of non-assisted and non-urgent health transport, and, in addition, to set a duration of service awards “That is not excessive depending on the investments to be made.”

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