Mayor of Barcelona requires and blocks Uber and Cabify new permits

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Shutterstock 1114216697This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

A new blow to Uber and Cabify in Barcelona, ​​this time from the hand of the mayor Ada Colau. Its formation, Barcelona en Comú, has just approved today in the full body of the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona (AMB) a new regulation that will limit the activity of both companies by requiring them to obtain a municipal permit, in addition to the VTC license, to operate in the city. The problem: the issuance of permits corresponds to Development, is granted at the state level, as confirmed sources of the Ministry to Teknuatas. Legal sources consulted are more direct: “What they have just done is directly illegal.”

The regulation approved today in the plenary session of the AMB has received the support of Barcelona in Comú, PSC, PDeCAT, Esquerra and the CUP. Only Citizens and PP have abstained in the vote. The main novelty of the regulation is the requirement of an additional municipal license for VTC vehicles (with nine seats or less) to operate in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona (AMB). “Each activity authorization has a single owner and is referred to a specific vehicle, having to include the registration number, the number of the frame and the rest of the data considered necessary for its identification,” the approved document states.

The approval and the plan itself surprises because, as the Ministry of Public Works clarifies, municipalities or local bodies such as the AMB do not have the authority to grant or deny VTC transport licenses. “VTC licenses and other transport permits are the responsibility of the Ministry, and are granted by the Autonomous Communities by delegation of the state If there is a city council that puts additional conditions of this type, we have to analyze it,” explains a spokesperson for Development.

“Ada Colau is going to set up an important legal caralar, a municipality or the AMB does not have the authority to issue transport licenses, it can regulate traffic with ordinances, for environmental or other reasons, but the issuance of an urban permit is a matter of Fomento will answer that they have no jurisdiction, and this has already been stated several times by the current transport general manager, Joaquín del Moral, “explain legal sources of the sector aware of the development plans.

The situation is peculiar since the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona itself requested last May for Development “the modification of article 182.2 of Royal Decree 1211/1990, of October 28, which approves the Regulation of the Law of Transport Regulation Terrestrial,” so that it gave the green light to the capacity of a city council or an organism like the AMB to demand an additional municipal license to the VTC. Not only did he ask for it, but in the minutes he even suggested how he had to draft the amendment to the law. In other words: a regulation has been approved without the prior approval of Development, which is fundamental for the regulation to go ahead.

“What the AMB has just done is going to be appealed to a contentious administrative court, it’s just a question of who will take the first step, whether the Promotion, the CNMC or the VTC companies themselves,” explain legal sources consulted.

Something similar has happened in the Madrid City Council, who has requested by letter to Fomento and the Community of Madrid the authority to grant an additional municipal license. “They sent us the letter last Friday, asking us for this possibility of double license. We are going to answer that we can not do it, we would be committing an illegality. The transport licenses are granted by the state, we only issue them with their consent,” explains Teknautas Pablo Rodríguez Sardinero, general director of transport of the Community of Madrid.

The associations of taxi drivers in Barcelona have applauded the regulations adopted by the AMB today and reject that its approach is contrary to the law. “We have been dealing with legal services for 6 months to ensure that there is a legal basis, the AMB is a single entity in Spain and has transferred competences, there is a legal basis to approve this,” explains Alberto ‘Tito’ Álvarez, spokesperson for Élite Taxi, the main association that has pushed the Barcelona City Council to approve this regulation. He goes on to threatens: “We will mobilize very hard against all who challenge this regulation, be the Generalitat, Uber, Cabify or whoever.” Sardinero goes on to say “This is unfortunately the only thing that the regulation will achieve and create false expectations for taxi drivers that will end in more controversy and mobilizations.”

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.