Colombian government is deliberating a block on use of the controversial Uber app, despite Bogotá taxi drivers revealing planned strike action for July 29.
“Colombia has a legal void when it comes to these applications, but this problem remains due to the pressure from companies currently operating as “tradional” taxis.”Juan Fernando Petersson a transport analyst told La Republica.
The country’s law 101 from 2014 sanctions “natural or legal persons who violate laws or complete illegal activities in relation to the offering of public transport services.”
Furthermore, the capital’s Transit and Transport Police are launching a crackdown on apps such as Uber, supporting taxi driver claims that contracting private transport services is illegal under current law.
Colombia’s Technology and Communications Ministry will not block the app.
A mixed response
The Uber app has had a varied response across Latin America, with Mexico City becoming the first in the region to legalize Uber use.
As from July 30, Uber and competitor Cabify, will be one of several apps on offer in Mexico City. However, only card payments will be accepted for fares, Mexico’s Huellas reports.
For each ride made using the app, Mexico City’s government will receive 1.5 percent of the total fare. It is hoped that having a selection of apps on offer will “promote innovation, economic development and free consumer choice.” Uber commented.
The company has not been so lucky in Brazil.
Military police are set be deployed in São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city. to stop use of the app across the city. Commercial establishments supporting links with the firm could find themselves subject to a hefty 1,700 real fine ($546).
“As a result of inflation and Uber, I earn 40 percent less than I did last year,” Anderson Machado a taxi driver on the city’s main Avenida Paulista, commented.
The firm continues to operate in the city, despite government voting against its use.
Whereas in the country’s capital Brasilia, Uber drivers have been met by protests and threats from taxi drivers as the firm disrupts popular routes and passenger pick-up spots.
Taxi drivers in Rio de Janeiro have taken measures one step further, filming Uber drivers and posting videos on social media.
In this Youtube video, a taxi driver films Uber cars parked outside of Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão airport.
Meanwhile in Colombia, the country’s Ministry of Transport has been invited by Uber to reconsider its stance by “supporting the construction of a new regulatory framework, as we (Uber) did recently in colaboration with the Mexico City government.”
All well and good, yet Uber and taxi disputes could further add to transport issues faced by thousands of commuters piling into Bogota’s already cramped public transport network on a daily basis.
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