Saturday, January 28

A protest of taxi drivers threatens to block the Castellana this Wednesday between Neptuno and Colón




The modification of the Transport Management and Coordination Law, which on Thursday it arrives at the Madrid Assembly to be processed by single reading, and which will regulate the operation of the VTC from October, has put taxi drivers on a war footing, who tomorrow, Wednesday, will demonstrate by car and on foot through the city center. Specifically, they will march with their vehicles between Neptuno and Colón, and will walk up to Puerta del Sol.

The regulation of the VTC service is being a focus of continuous problems for the regional government. First, they wanted to include it in the Omnibus Law, which tweaks up to fifty regulations to make them more flexible and more agile. But in the face of the discomfort and opposition of the taxi drivers -the Professional Taxi Federation threatened to request more than 2,500 million euros from the Community for the resulting damages-, the regional president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, decided to back down and remove the VTC of the bus.

He did so after meeting with the group, and promising them a series of improvements, among them he proposed repurchase licenses for the self-employed who retire, with agreed amounts of around 150,000 and 200,000 euros. And it is also suggested that 20 percent of health services that do not require ambulances be carried out by taxi drivers, prior agreement and agreement with Health and Social Services.

Then, on May 4, it approved the bill that will allow VTCs to continue operating in the capital from October, which is the deadline that the ‘Ábalos decree’ set, and from which permits with platforms such as Úber and Cabify are no longer valid.

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A rule that indicates that these vehicles with driver will not be allowed to pick up passengers on the street or have stops, as taxi drivers have. The law then passed to the Assembly, where it will be negotiated by the single reading procedure, and This Thursday it will be seen and voted in plenary.

But before that happens, the taxi drivers have been summoned by the Madrid Professional Taxi Federation to demonstrate this Wednesday, June 1, with their vehicles between Colón and Neptuno, between 10 and 12 in the morning. The cars, they assure the association, will remain parked on the Paseo de la Castellana, while the taxi drivers go up on foot to the Puerta del Sol, where they will express their opposition to the new rule at the gates of the Royal Post Office, headquarters of the Regional government.

Those responsible for the Madrid Taxi Professional Federation warn that they are waiting for the new Transport Law to be modified to allow the activity of the VTC to take it to court. They also protest that the single reading procedure has been chosen for the processing of this law, because “it prevents a broad debate or the presentation of opposition amendments.”

The taxi drivers ask that issues such as the minimum pre-employment, ban them from wandering the streetsthat the proportion of one VTC for every 30 taxi licenses be complied with; and sanction in accordance with the State Transportation Law.

They consider that their requests have not been addressed in this matter, and “however, a tailored suit is made for the large VTC corporations that are in the hands of three companies.”

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