Uber is back in Barcelona with licensed service
Posted on 14/03/2018 4 shares

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On Tuesday Uber announced that it was back in Barcelona with 120 professional drivers. It was banned three years ago over the suspension of its service that allegedly enabled unregulated drivers to transport passengers for money using their own cars.

Uber has been reapproved in Barcelona

Uber has been reapproved in Barcelona
Worawee Meepian/123RF

Legal pressure and protests from taxi drivers in 2014 in Spain meant that Uber was made illegal.

A Spanish judge in 2014 suspended the company's UberPop service which enables unregulated drivers to ferry passengers saying the drivers had to be given official authorization to transport clients.

Later in December 2017 the EU's top court claimed that Uber was an ordinary transportation company and not an app, therefore it should be regulated as such.

There is a huge taxi industry in Spain, about 70,000 licenses and 100,000 employees working in the industry. This industry has, for several years, fought against ride-hailing companies such as Uber and even Spain's Cabify, accusing them of unfair competition.

On Tuesday, the Elite Taxi Company, pledged to track Uber's activities in Barcelona and any potential offences committed.

The industry's main federation, Fedetawi, also asked Barcelona's city hall to be "uncompromising."

Taxi drivers explain that Uber services are a threat to their jobs and that ride-hailing companies are not implementing existing rules.

Spanish regulations stipulate there should be a quota of one licensed vehicle from companies like Uber or Cabify for every 30 taxis. Nonetheless official figures show that there are more licensed vehicles than taxis.

In December, the Spanish government tried to address the issue with the creation of a national register that will allow authorities to better control the situation.