A national six-day taxi driver strike in Spain has ended after the government agreed to pass regulation that will allow the country’s autonomous communities to cap the number of private hire vehicle permits within their cities.
The VTC licenses are used by Uber and local ride-hailing rival Cabify to offer professional driver services in the country. So the government’s decision looks likely to limit the size of their businesses in regional markets which choose to uphold the cap.
Previous decisions by European courts have essentially closed down Uber’s p2p (non-professional driver) ride-hailing services in the region. So lobbying cities to deregulate and reform taxi laws in its favor is Uber’s game now.
But it’s a long game, and one that may not work in every market — underlining the drivers behind the company repositioning itself as a multimodal transport platform, after buying its way into e-bikes.
Spain’s Development Ministry issued the news the taxi industry had been pressing for yesterday, in a press release, following a meeting of the National Transport Conference that had been forward as a result of the strikes. It said measures to enable the country’s regional governments to regulate the VTC sector locally, allowing them to put in place their own urban mobility policies, will be implemented in September.
Taxi associations have parked their strike as a result — albeit, making it loud and clear on Twitter that they’ll be returning to keep up the pressure on legislators come September.