Cabify seeks alternatives to maintain operations in Barcelona after the decree

Cabify seeks to stay in Barcelona despite the harsh restrictions imposed by the Generalitat. The Spanish technology company ensures that studies the legal and operational formula to continue its activity in Barcelona. It does so despite warning that the restrictions “severely hinder” the development of the sector, endangering investments estimated at more than 150 million euros by the group led by Juan de Antonio and its suppliers.

It’s not going to be easy at all. The conditions imposed by the decree represent “a practically insurmountable barrier”, as admitted by the company, which gives as an example the scarcity of vehicles on the market that comply with “completely arbitrary” measures stipulated in a minimum length of 4.90 meters. “It is an unjustified requirement and exclusively designed to end a sector,” they point out. In 2021, less than 1% of vehicles sold in Spain in 2021 are compliant.

The company directed by De Antonio He has already returned after the decree of the year 2019 to the Catalan capital. He did it with a legal ‘trick’ with which he avoided that regulation. He created, through his company Prestige and Limousine (with a fleet of hundreds of vehicles), a one-year contract, so they interpret that the service is extended during those twelve months. This meant that the 15 minutes of pre-contracting did not have to be met on each trip.

The employers of the sector has pointed to a potential complaint to the Government by decree. Some of the relevant unions have moved in favor of the VTC. The UGT criticized last week the new decree, which should enter into force next October. He insisted that it is a “restrictive” regulation and asked that “jobs and coexistence” be maintained between taxi drivers and these platforms. Bolt and Uber have officially gone silent.

The Generalitat announced the approval of the decree law after an agreement with the PSC and discarding the request for an extension in the so-called ‘Ábalos decree’ that set an expiration date for VTC licenses: October of this year. That decree not only imposed restrictions on vehicles. The main measure has to do with the number of licenses. In practice, operating permits are cut very significantly.

The taxi celebrates

The Catalan taxi sector has celebrated the approval of this decree law. The Elite Taxi spokesman, Titus Alvarezensure that the text he is “a son of the taxi and a work of art”. “It shields the taxi sector for at least four years and brings order”he defended a little over a week ago after the final ‘green light’ of the document.

It must be taken into account that Barcelona is one of the most outstanding markets for the VTC in Spanish territory. Until just a few weeks ago, Cabify was the only platform that operated. However, Bolt announced its entry a little less than a month ago, while Uber did the same just a few days before.