1 Feb 19

Barcelona hits Uber in the heart

As from today new ride hailing legislation will apply in Barcelona, which means – so far – the end of Uber and Cabify in the Catalunian Capital. 

Immediately after unveiling the new legislation in Barcelona, Uber and Cabify announced to cease their services in the Spanish city. The legislation aims to avoid unfair competition, but it clearly addresses the core principles of the ride hailing companies, making it impossible for them to operate any longer. 

To avoid a fine of €1,400, ride hailers cannot be picked up less than 15 minutes after their booking, in contrast to the immediate reservation and drive away principle of current ride hailing companies. Further on, the legislation prohibits geo-localisation, and hence prohibits the most fundamental principle of ride hailing: ordering a car in the vicinity, and following it on the map until it arrives, or driving around in order to spot a potential rider in the vicinity of the ride hailing car. 

The decree of the Catalunian Government will apply as from 1 February, however the Catalunian Parliament still has time to have its say, which will be used by the ride hailing companies to lobby and undo the decision of the Government. This could bring the Uber and Cabify back online. If not, about 1,000 jobs are about to get lost in Barcelona. 

Authored by: Fien Van den steen