Uber spreading its business across Europe If you’ve had trouble hailing a cab on the streets of Madrid, Barcelona or many other cities in Spain recently, there’s a good chance it was because of a taxi drivers’ strike. There have been a number of these in recent months, all with the same aim: to halt the expansion of ride-sharing firm Uber.
Uber had been spreading its business across Europe mostly without a hitch, until it reached Spain. This country’s transport laws are more restrictive than most when it comes to companies like Uber and its Spanish rival Cabify. Those firms’ drivers use so-called VTC permits and Spanish legislation states that only one of these permit holders can be on the road for every 30 regular taxis.
Taxi drivers complain that this 1:30 law is being flouted and that the real ratio across Spain is more like 1:11. What’s more, taxi drivers say that VTC drivers often violate the terms of their own permits by fishing for business in the street, rather than being hailed digitally.
As well as organising strikes, a group of Barcelona-based cab drivers, called Élite Taxi, has taken these grievances to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in […]