Taxis in Portugal organize a nationwide protest against new taxi-hailing apps’ law

  • ECO News
  • 24 September 2018

The new law will be put into action on the 1st of November, after having been enacted on the 31st of August by the President. Taxi drivers want to see the law cancelled.

Taxi drivers have started protesting last Wednesday in Lisbon, Porto and Faro, against a legislation that shall come into force on the 1st of November, and that, according to the taxi Association, will affect the taxi drivers severely — estimates from the taxi associations have claimed that around 30 thousand jobs are at risk because of this new legislation, which will regulate the taxi-hailing apps such as Taxify, and Uber.

In Lisbon, the streets of Marques de Pombal are filled with lines and lines of cab drivers, relentlessly against the new legislation, which they claim will be severely damaging to their business. The banners read “Somos Táxi”, meaning “We are Taxis”, and those who have been used to hailing a taxi in the streets, have been prevented to do so since last Wednesday.

They’re out in the streets trying to prevent that the legislation regulating their competitors -Chauffer Privé, Cabify, Taxify and Uber -, is put into action on the 1st of November.

The legislation was a difficult process at the parliament, but the agreement was reached between PS and PSD, Socialists and Socialist Democrats, on a 5% tax on the net profit in each hailed ride for the apps, after over a year of negotiations.

The President was against the initial proposal of 2% and vetoed it, stating there was no balance between the taxi-hailing apps and the taxi drivers. After the agreement of PS and PSD on the 5% contribution, the law was then enacted, and ought to be put in action n the first day of November.

However, taxi drivers are fundamentally against this legislation, which in their opinion only legitimizes these new mobility apps.

The protest wave has continued since last Wednesday, causing constraints in Porto, Lisbon and Faro. Other transport companies such as Carris and Metro have said they would increase their services to help with the lack of resources caused by the taxi strikes nationwide.