Marcelo gave the go-ahead to Uber. Legislation has been enacted

  • ECO News
  • 2 August 2018

The President has enacted legislation that will affect Uber, Cabify, and Taxify. Increasing the statutory regulations under which these taxi-hailing apps are under, however, has spiked more protests.

The Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has taken the final step regarding the Uber law by enacting it, confirming it will be applied and put into action.

The info was released via the Presidency’s official website, in a note published by the President’s staff. The approval of the decree might open the window to a new wave of demonstrations from cab drivers, as the news about the enactment have coincided with the protests happening in Spain against the aforementioned apps.

“The last set of changes to the legislation introduced by the Parliament, have [in a limited way] taken into account the recommendations made by the President on the 29th of April 2018 regarding the necessary readjustments of the legal framework affecting those apps“, the memo on the Presidency’s website showed last Tuesday.

The new legislation will be applicable to Uber, Cabify, and Taxify and it will force drivers to complete a training session to obtain an official record in order to have access to the career as a driver.

It also integrates many measures to fight the precarious conditions in this segment, with the example of the introduction of a 5% tax, a contribution from the net profit obtained during each hailed drive.

Both PS and PSD reached an agreement, last month, where they agreed on the 5% tax, while before that, parties were advocating between a 0.1% and 2% tax. This contribution is supposed to compensate for the administrative and regulatory costs attached to the effect these services have on urban mobility.

Although the President has enacted the legislation, the cabinet has also noted in its memo that Marcelo was not completely satisfied with the changes, he wanted more.

Uber considered the enactment as a decisive step for the company, as well as for its drivers and users. An official source from the company has confirmed that the app “will continue to contribute to fruitful dialogues in terms of urban mobility” noting as well that Uber “will work to let Portugal’s case become a reference in this sector”.

Cabify Portugal has likewise commented the promulgation considering it “a step forward for the future of mobility in Portugal”. “We believe as well, that this recognition will provide viable alternatives to urban mobility, and shed light on what these apps can offer in terms of creating smarter and more sustainable cities”, the official source from the company told ECO.

For Taxify, this law is a milestone, as it will give more credibility to the apps, which have been having a positive effect on a daily basis, easing their users’ mobility. The taxi-hailing app also noted it will do its best to comply with the new legislation during the next few months.

The Portuguese Taxi-drivers Federation (FPT) has also declared that they “will evaluate how they should react to the news about the enactment”. They have noted, however, that they do not find this decision to enact the legislation coherent, given the President’s prior stance on the issue.

Taxi drivers will plan new protests

The approval of the legislation has been announced in a rather sensitive time for taxi-drivers –in the meantime, in Spain, there have been series of protests in major cities against the apps — and Portuguese taxi-drivers showed solidarity to their next-door neighbors.

This Tuesday morning, some Portuguese taxi-drivers already showed support for the Spanish with a protest organized at Lisbon Airport.