The Government has ready the decree-law to give a framework to platforms such as Uber and Cabify and through which you want to create new requirements, both for vehicles and for drivers.
The document sets out that companies that develop applications to call a car with driver are technology service providers and not enterprises of transport, thereby clarifying in Portugal, one that has been, in several countries, a central point of the debate regulatory. These platforms will have to request authorization from the regulator of transport to work (the authorization will be reviewed every five years) and are required to have a registered office or national representative.
Part of the diploma will give force of law to what already has been the practice of these companies (Uber works in Portugal since mid-2014, the Cabify began operations in Lisbon in May this year). Many of the new obligations that the Government intends to implement fall on the cars and the drivers, which belong to the company autonomous of those that offer the service of booking. Drivers must have a training of 30 hours (which will be given by driving schools) and get a title that enables them to provide the service. In a similar way to taxi drivers, they will have the identification visible inside the car, even though the mobile apps are also required to identify them.
The vehicles, on the other hand, now have an age limit of seven years. Currently, however, the cars that can be called through those applications have an age that falls short of this limit and the fact that the cars are recent has been used as a competition factor in the face of the fleets of taxis, where there is no age limit. In addition, the cars must have a safe equal to that of the taxis, be subject to an inspection annually, and are identified with a label.
Contrary to what happens with the taxis, the companies that carry passengers in vehicles, adulterated will not have tax benefits (as is the case for the exemption of the single tax movement, and deduction of VAT) and are required to automatically issue an electronic invoice certified (taxis are only required to a paper bill).
finally, the taxis will continue to be the only ones they can legally carry passengers acenem in the streets, as well as the use the squares of the taxi. Also the routes of public transport, where taxis can travel, are open to cars called through applications such as Uber or Cabify.
"it Is a proposal that ends up with the unfair competition and defends a lot of the consumers", he argued to the PUBLIC, the ministry of Environment, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, who in March was started with a process to find a legal framework for the operations of those companies. The minister noted that the functioning of the platforms to call a car with a driver has not created problems of security, but acknowledged that these could arise to the extent that the use of services increases. "The story does not bring us troubling news, but with the massive could exist risks that we want to avoid".
The ordinance, which does not touch on the current rules for taxis, will be opened this week to a query on the part of the entities in the sector, which includes the two associations that represent the taxi drivers, and we have to request that companies such as Uber are prohibited. Matos Fernandes says expect the law to be in force before the end of the year. There will be a period of transition for the transport companies, the drivers and the electronic platforms to pass to fulfill the legal obligations.
The document comes at a time that taxis prepare for more a protest against Uber and other platforms rivals: for day 10 October is marked with a concentration of taxi drivers in Lisbon.
in addition To the protests against Uber, the representatives of the taxis have attempted to renegotiate the prices of the trips, which are agreed upon between the sector associations and the Directorate-General of Economic Activities. The last convention ended in 2014, but continues in force for not having been a new agreement. Among other changes in the tariffs of the taxi drivers want a fare that is seasonal and more expensive in July and August, and also in the days antecem holidays such as Christmas and the New Year. The aim is to encourage the provision of service to these periods of high demand. In addition, they also rates regional that permit you to adjust prices in areas of lower demand, and that the taxis that can carry more than four passengers, and that are more expensive, cover only the normal rate for trips in which the passengers do not exceed that number.