Uber Protests Regulations Classifying the Service as a Taxi Operator in Brazil

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In September,  Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff criticized the service for causing unemployment.  The president also called for the regulation of the service owing to complaints and lobbying by taxi unions to the government. Prior to that, in July, taxi drivers in one of Brazil’s main cities Rio de Janeiro protested against Uber blocking major roads and stalling traffic during rush hours claiming that the ride hailing service was bringing unfair competition.  The taxi drivers parked their cabs in a 5 kilometers stretch along main highways honking and chanting. Uber also faced similar challenges in Brazil’s other major cities of Sao Paulo as well as Brasilia.

The San Francisco based company got reprieve in Brazil’s capital City, Brasilia after the Mayor rejected a set of legislation aimed at banning the service in its entirety.  In rejecting the bill, the mayor said he saw Uber as a means of revolutionizing the industry as well as creating employment.In Brazil’s other major city of Sao Paulo, the  parliament passed a bill outlawing the service. The County Council of Sao Paulo has been keen on eliminating Uber owing to the levies it earns from sale of traditional taxi licenses as well as pressure from taxi unions who, control a significant chunk of the voting blocs.

 According to Reuters, the mayor of the Sao Paulo metropolis has announced yesterday plans to introduce regulations to the service instead of effecting the ban. According to the mayor, Uber will the city would create a new class of taxis known as “black cabs,” which will accommodate Uber vehicles, and allow for 5,000 operating permits. Uber has since protested the planned regulations stating that it is not a taxi service and cannot be considered as one in passing the regulations.  The black cab drivers will need authorization from the city and work as independent contractors.  The city will also auction the 5,000 operating permits and the work plan on the same will be unveiled in the following months. 

Source: Reuters

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