Uber welcomed the decision made yesterday by Brazilian legislators to approve less stringent regulations, after initial proposals threatened to negatively affect one of the world's largest markets for transportation applications.
Uber said that "instead of prohibiting, the text regulates the activity of drivers and organizes the criteria for applications to operate" in the largest country in Latin America.
Brazil is the second largest Uber market after the United States, with 17 million users and 500,000 drivers.
In October last year, after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi lobbied and traveled to Brazil, Brazilian senators passed a law regulating transportation applications. They removed clauses included in an original proposal that gave these companies the same treatment as other forms of public transport such as taxis.
In its original form, the project required drivers to obtain special permits, such as a taxi license, and additional insurance for their vehicles, which raised costs for drivers. The companies were also subject to additional supervision and the legislation left the door open to possible limits on the number of drivers.
The modified version, endorsed by the Senate in 2017 and approved by Congress yesterday, awaits the signature of Brazil's President Michel Temer.
Reinaldo Piceli, a Uber driver in Sao Paulo, said the new version of the project "is much less demanding than it was originally."
"Finally, it is the clients who should decide if they want to travel with us or by taxi."
Some drivers of transport applications feared that the enactment of the law in its original version would imply lower income at a time when unemployment in the country is double digits. Uber also faces trials for labor rights and security issues in the country, in addition to the complaints of taxi drivers who argue that the application creates unfair competition.
Brazil is one of the most competitive markets for transport applications, partly due to the shortcomings of public transport and the concern for insecurity in cities such as Rio de Janeiro.
Didi Chuxing, Uber's rival Chinese transport group, acquired the Brazilian application "99" for US $ 1 billion in January. The local startup has 17 million users and 300,000 drivers in Brazil.
In 99 they assured that the decision of yesterday was "a victory for the Brazilian society”.
The above article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English. Click here to read the original article.
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