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Spain gives Uber and Cabify drivers four years to secure licences

The government had agreed in 2017 on new regulations in an attempt to guarantee a cap on licences for Uber and similar services at a ratio of just one permit for every 30 taxi permits

September 28, 2018 / 10:42 PM IST
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 14: A taxi of the Uber Company pass by on the street in Moscow, Russia, on July 14,2017.  Uber and Yandex, the

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 14: A taxi of the Uber Company pass by on the street in Moscow, Russia, on July 14,2017. Uber and Yandex, the "Google of Russia", have agreed to combine their Russian ride-sharing businesses, with Yandex the leading partner in a deal that extends to five nearby markets. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Spain on Friday gave Uber and Cabify drivers four years to comply with new licensing regulations issued by its autonomous regions and cities, defying protests by drivers for the ride-hailing services.

There are almost 11,000 vehicles with ride-sharing licences and more than 65,000 with taxi licences, Public Works Ministry data shows, with more than 150,000 taxi drivers and 15,000 Uber and Cabify drivers in operation.

On Thursday, drivers of Uber and Cabify took to the streets to protest against the proposed transfer of licensing powers to Spanish regions. Drivers fear it aims to reduce licence numbers.

"If they want to continue working in cities they will have to apply for appropriate licenses," Public Works Minister Jose Luis Abalos told a news conference after a cabinet meeting.

The government agreed in 2017 on new regulations in an attempt to guarantee a cap on licences for Uber and similar services at a ratio of just one permit for every 30 taxi permits.

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But taxi drivers took to the streets this summer saying this ratio was not being respected and demanded an end to the practice of transferring ride-hailing permits between drivers.

The government then decided to transfer licencing regulations to the regions.

"Some will see four years as too long and others will see it as too short," said Abalos on Friday. "We are trying to create a space that allows for both sectors to coexist under the same legislation."
Reuters
first published: Sep 28, 2018 09:45 pm

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