Barcelona: UberX suspended from one day to the next
Ride-hailing giant, Uber, has announced together with competitor, Cabify, to suspend its service with professional drivers from one day to the next, on Friday. Reason is a new decree approved by the Catalan government that forces a reservation for ride-hailing services at least 15 minutes beforehand, and even one hour upfront in Barcelona.
For Uber that means it has to pull the plug for UberX, ride-hailing service with professional drivers. “Due to restrictions imposed for these services by the Catalan government, we are forced to suspend the UberX services from tomorrow (Friday) on”, Uber announces in a press release.
First time in 2014
Uber was obliged earlier to suspend its UberPOP service with private drivers in 2014 and came back with the UberX service with professional drivers in Madrid in 2016 and in Barcelona in 2018.
The new regulation becomes active immediately in the whole of Catalonia and apart from the obligation of a reservation upfront, forbids applications to use the geo-location data of their fleet.
Taxi drivers strike
With this new regulation the Catalan government gives in to the demands of the regular taxi sector after a hard strike in Spain’s second largest city. In the capital, Madrid, a similar movement is seen with the taxi drivers being at strike for the 11th consecutive day, but they come away empty-handed for now.
The new government measure was criticized by Spain’s ride-hailing association, Unauto, that says it will cost 3.000 jobs in the sector.