New 15 minute advanced booking rule forces Uber and Cabify to suspend services in Barcelona

It has been announced today in The Guardian, that ride-hailing app’s Uber and Cabify are to suspend operations following new rules requiring vehicles to be booked at least 15 minutes in advance. Both firms will suspend their services from Friday February 1. The new regulations were put in place by the government after immense pressure was brought on by taxi drivers who demanded tighter rules be put in place on VTC’S (private vehicles with driver). An Uber spokesperson said that the new regulations leave the controversial ride-hailing firm no choice but to suspend UberX while they asses their future in Barcelona. Following suite, soon after, a spokesperson for Cabify accused the Catalan government of “caving into pressure and demands of the taxi industry.” Cabify said that almost 100% of it’s trips were booked with less than 15 minutes notice so the new regulations sole objective seems to lead to a direct expulsion of their business model. According to VTC, an association of transport companies, the new regulations could lead to 3,000 drivers losing their jobs. A spokesperson for VTC said that the regional government in Catalonia are “yielding to the blackmail of the taxi drivers, who are again kidnapping the city of Barcelona and using violence to shield their monopoly.”

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