May 11, 2021

Uber leaves Barcelona

Uber leaves Barcelona

After yesterday the CEO of the company announced early in the morning his departure from Barcelona if the pre-contracting of his services was imposed and then the firm matizase this position, Uber has made it perfectly clear today that if the Generalitat of Catalonia approves this requirement will leave Barcelona. A spokesperson for the app announced in a statement that if the Catalan government finally imposes the pre-contract, "we can not continue to provide our UberX service in Barcelona."

From twelve noon until six o'clock in the evening the taxi drivers from Barcelona are voting if they accept the latest proposal of the Catalan Executive to regulate the sector of rental vehicles with driver (VTC) that Uber uses. The Executive of Quim Torra has raised that in the decree-law of the Generalitat, which could be approved next week, will continue to include the obligation to pre-contract VTC services with a minimum of 15 minutes, but will be enabled to the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) to extend the period to one hour, with a mechanism that can not be challenged.

The reaction of the employers of the VTC (Unauto) to know the decree-law was to announce late last night that these restrictions meant "the disappearance of Catalonia from the VTC sector." However, both Uber and Cabify qualified after they had not yet made a decision about it. Today's Uber statement, however, leaves no room for doubt.

The pre-contracting has become the cornerstone of the current upsurge in the conflict over urban passenger transport. The taxi sector claims that Uber or Cabify services are contracted several hours in advance. To achieve its objective, the VTC will no longer be, de facto, direct competition for the taxi, which would continue to enjoy the possibility of hiring not only services similar to those of Uber or Cabify but also the instantaneous ones that it achieves at street level and that they constitute the bulk of the business.

If the Generalitat of Catalonia has finally yielded to the requirement of the pre-contract taxi, the same does not happen with the Community of Madrid. The Government of Ángel Garrido refuses to impose such a requirement and ensures that the municipalities would be competent to do so, as reflected in the express reform that has been submitted to the sector. The employer's association from Madrid (Ceim), which is mediating between the two parties, has sent Garrido a proposal to establish 30 minutes of pre-contracting that could be extended to one hour by the municipalities, in addition to requesting that the VTC can not park on the surface or circulate more than thirty minutes in vacuum. But the regional government has rejected the proposal, according to Fedetaxi. The main association of the taxi sector at the national level has ensured that, given this refusal, they will continue to fight and that if Fitur is collapsed it is the responsibility of Garrido and also of "Pedro Sánchez and José Luis Ábalos, who have caused all this."


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