April 18, 2021

The VTC of the Basque Country must be contracted one hour in advance

The VTC of the Basque Country must be contracted one hour in advance

Vehicles with driver (VTC) must be hired in the Basque Country at least one hour in advance, except in "special circumstances" such as emergencies, mutual accident and roadside assistance, among other assumptions.

On Tuesday, representatives of the Basque Government, the Basque Taxi Federation and the VTC met to discuss the bases that will govern the new regulations in Euskadi for vehicle services with driver, after last week both parties they will agree not to "confront" and negotiate the regulation of the sector.

At the meeting, general regulatory bases have been agreed upon, which, in addition to setting the minimum contracting time in one hour, establish that VTCs may not circulate on public roads in search of travelers in any case and that the geolocation of the vehicles will only be known by the company and never by the customers.

This was announced, after the meeting, the Director of Planning of Transport of the Basque Government, Janire Bijueska, who has described as "triumph" the agreement reached, fruit of the "constructive will" and to avoid "any confrontation" of all the parties, something that was a "fundamental priority" for the regional government.

Unlike other places like Madrid and Barcelona, in the Basque Country neither Uber nor Cabify operate -although they have requested to meet with the Basque authorities- and there has not been a conflict between the taxi drivers and the VTC companies, which to date have coexisted with normality.

Both sectors and the Basque Government have met several times in recent months to try to agree on a regulation. At the meeting on Tuesday, a text with "the most general aspects" has been closed, but more meetings will be necessary to define the fine print of the regulations.

For the time being it has been agreed that VTCs should be hired at least one hour in advance and that it is necessary to bring the documentation of the contracted service on board the vehicle, in order to prove that they have met that minimum time. The vehicle can only circulate if it justifies that it is providing a previously contracted service; otherwise you must return to the garages.

That time of margin will not be necessary in "special circumstances", such as emergencies, accident mutuals, roadside assistance and modifications in a service already pre-contracted, among other assumptions in which the door to subrogation is opened.

Taxi drivers and companies of VTC have also agreed that the latter vehicles "may in no case circulate on the public highway in search of customers, or encourage the capture of travelers" who have not previously contracted the service.

Basque VTCs must be used "habitually" within Euskadi and if they move to another autonomous community they will have to carry the corresponding authorization on the dashboard, in a visible place.

The agreed points on Tuesday are added to the agreement reached last December for the VTC to wear a green sticker on the windshield and on the rear window that identifies them, so that the intrusion will be prevented and the inspection and control of activity.

Nowadays, in the Basque Country there are 2,137 taxis and 95 VTC, which gives a ratio of 1/23, that is, a car with a driver for every 23 taxis. There are also 264 VTC license requests pending processing, although the Basque Government believes that it is practically impossible to grant them when the 1/30 rate ratified by the Supreme Court for the whole of Spain is exceeded.



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