Thursday, August 11

Barcelona indirectly expels Uber or Cabify with a new pro-taxi decree


Catalonia already has regulations for the VTC operation. And there is no good news for them. Its restrictions are so important that they leave out the vast majority of the vehicles that now circulate. And it opens the door for municipalities to be even more restrictive.


As we have been telling you in recent months, the future of the VTC in Barcelona was uncertain. Bolt, for example, has begun to operate in the city with them, but has kept the trick of taxis among his offer. Cabify, for its part, has a very complicated position with the new text.

A conflict that comes from afar

The conflict for VTC regulation in our country it comes from afar and it has been especially hard in Barcelona. In 2018, the Autonomous Community imposed harsh restrictions on this service, such as the obligation to book at least 15 minutes in advance.

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Justice, however, overturned this measure and the national government carried out what is known as the Ábalos Decree. This rule, in practice, was nothing more than an extension for the Autonomous Communities to legislate themselves how many VTCs could operate in their territory and how to do it.

The text opened the possibility for the number of licenses to grow, as Madrid has done, which increases the number of vehicles of this type that can operate to 9,000. With the clock already counting down, Catalonia has taken sides. And he has done it by minimizing his business.

VTC, synonymous with luxury

With Decree Law 1/7/2022 that the Government of Catalonia has approved, companies that offer VTC services will have a very difficult time carrying out their business from October 1stwhen it will come into force. Except for last minute surprises, the Parliament of Catalonia will endorse the measure before the summer holidays.

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What is collected in the text is that a very small minority will be able to carry out their transport services with a driver. To shield the 15-minute reservation, fines of up to 6,000 euros are contemplated for those who fail to comply with this measure.

But, in addition, it will require that, in practice, only luxury models operate. On the Catalan streets, only those cars that measure more than 4.90 meters long. And the new licenses will only be issued to those cars with ECO and Zero Emissions labels that, of course, meet the above requirement.

According to Cabify, Cabify has published in a recent statement, only 1% of its vehicles meet these requirements, which is why they consider the measure a direct attack on this business formula. Therefore, they assure that the new regulations will cause “thousands of professionals to lose their jobs in the coming months.”

From El País they collect that Catalonia currently has 4,000 VTC licenses available but that only between 2,750 and 3,000 have a car and the possibility of operating has been approved. However, the restrictions that had been imposed in the Catalan Autonomous Community had meant that only 1,455 licenses provided service in the region.

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