Uber’s third attempt to return to Barcelona. The company has confirmed that will operate again in the city of Barcelona next Tuesday, March 16, and that it will do so thanks to a fleet of 350 taxi drivers (who are not VTC drivers) who will operate through the app.
As explained by Juan Galiardo, general director of Uber in Spain, to The vanguard, they are still “shaping the way to set the race price” and intend to make use of the tariff 3, which allows you to set a price set in advance. Uber’s decision, unsurprisingly, has not been exempt from response by the taxi sector.
Without VTCs and with the threat of the sector
During the first three months of operation, Uber will not use VTC licenses to offer its services, but rather will have a fleet of 350 taxi drivers. Moreover, they affirm that they will not resort to VTCs as long as the taxi drivers can meet the demand of the users.
In a nutshell, Uber will be an intermediary between the user and the taxi driver, so it will function as a conventional radio station for practical purposes. It is a model similar to the one used in Madrid, where Uber works with around 2,000 taxi drivers and where it is possible to set prices in advance.
However, the IMET (Metropolitan Taxi Institute) dice what the operation of the app does not conform to the rate system, so from Uber they have explained that, until that problem is solved, the price will be marked by the meter.
🚕 Uber’s return to Barcelona ignites taxi drivers 👇 # PlantaBaixaTV3
– TV3 floor plan (@ plantabaixatv3) March 10, 2021
Let us remember that Uber had to leave Barcelona on February 1, 2019, when the Generalitat decree came into force that, among other things, It meant requesting the service 15 minutes in advance. As Uber stated at that time, “given the restrictions on VTCs approved by the Catalan government, we are forced to suspend the UberX service in Barcelona.”
In any case, Uber’s intentions have not sat well with the taxi sector, which has already threatened mobilizations. From Elite Taxi, one of the largest associations in Barcelona, they affirm that Uber “threatens to carry out that usual white-collar crime” and that “if Uber starts working with taxis, I would be doing it illegally right now, for not complying with the transparency parameters that the IMET requires equally to any app that intends to work with taxis in the AMB “.
The association goes to more, since it affirms that Uber “would be inducing the taxi driver to commit an illegality for providing service without adjusting to the fare system, which could be a very serious offense that could have as a consequence the revocation of the license or credential” . In fact, they claim that they cannot confirm that there is “350 traitors” who “are willing to stab the taxi industry, or at least that they have the courage to take that step, with incalculable consequences. “
Elite Taxi spokesperson, Tito Álvarez, has confirmed that “if Uber opens the application in Barcelona, we will have a very entertaining Mobile because here we will defend ourselves the same We have been doing it for seven years, nothing has changed and nothing will change. ”