Taxi drivers request a limit of cars to Uber in Mendoza, Argentina

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

With the definitive sanction to the brand new Urban Mobility Law, the arrival of Uber in Mendoza, Argentina is imminent (like that of other similar platforms such as Cabify and Easy Taxi). However, it is the first of these companies that generates the most rejection among taxi drivers, since the vehicles that operate in Uber in different cities of the world are not registered as taxis or other public transport vehicles.

The Association of Owners of Taxis of Mendoza (Aprotam) will appeal to the local judicial system to request the unconstitutionality of the law and to block the arrival of this platform. And, in case that this petition does not work, they advance that they will insist that the regulation decree of the norm fixes a top of vehicles of Uber according to the number of taxis.

The secretary of Aprotam regretted that at the legislative level the discussion was over without giving them “real participation”. He added that they will, therefore, resort to the Justice to request that the Urban Mobility Law be declared unconstitutional. To do so, they must wait for the Executive to promulgate it.

“We want to file a complaint to modify some aspects in which we could not participate. We believe that by giving a little of each part we could have agreed on a slightly more convenient project,” Vázquez summarized.

The representative of taxi owners stressed that they would have liked to not be removed from the category of Public Service (“they passed us to General interest, but nobody is clear on what this means and implies,” he said) and criticized the change in the process of permit granting.

“It has always been done by tender or public tender, and that guaranteed that anyone could participate and there is transparency. But now we do not know how it is going to be done, and nothing guarantees that large groups will not come and keep everything,” he summarized.

Aprotam also questioned how Uber will pay taxes and how it will work with its associated drivers. “For us, there is a labor link between the drivers and the network, but they insist that it is a contract between private companies,” said the secretary of the association. And he considered that the over-tax rate of 1% on Gross Revenue that the Government will charge them is “insignificant”.

About 10% of the taxis in Mendoza have installed the system so that customers can pay by card. And this is something that, according to Vázquez, also distances passengers from these vehicles.

“They tried to take it forward, but it was not successful. The rise in commission costs discourages the use of cards, more in an area where the rate is regulated. Abuses by cards and banks discourage the driver from resorting to their use. And that would be one of the most effective ways to combat this type of tool (for Uber),” he continued.

Vazquez stressed that the exchange rate backwardness, inflation, and high interest rates are key factors also in the critical situation of the sector.

Regarding the general state of the vehicle fleet of these vehicles, Vázquez acknowledged that there are some units in which it is unintelligible to be granted the rating. “The technical control of the taxis is every 3 months, and it is the Government that gives the rating. There are times when we ourselves ask ourselves how they can put the wafers on some cars that are not in condition. That also hurts us.”

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.