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Uber protesters in Mexico City. Uber protesters in Mexico City.

Draft rules call for permits for Uber

Uber drivers would have to pay 1,599 pesos annually

A resolution has apparently been reached between Uber and the Federal District government (GDF) after protests and threats by taxi drivers against the on-demand private car hire service, while similar regulations could be seen shortly in other jurisdictions.

According to a draft seen by Reuters, the new ad hoc regulation will require Uber-affiliated drivers to register with the GDF, which will in turn issue them permits. Uber will also have to donate a percentage of its income to a transportation fund.

The proposed regulation prohibits the private drivers from receiving payments in cash and using established taxi stops, and the company from offering pre-paid plans.

The draft also states that the cost of the yearly permit would be 1,599 pesos (about US $100), while reports differ as to the amount to be donated to the transportation fund, which could go from 1.5 to 5% of Uber’s reported income. The purpose of the fund hasn’t been revealed either.

Uber spokeswoman Ana Paula Blanco avoided mentioning the exact figures her company would be required to pay, but asserted that they would accept any regulations that establish a level playing field between Uber’s affiliated drivers and local cab drivers.

The regulation is still being debated and its particulars could change before its expected publication date, sometime during the next week.

Nonetheless, when approved, it would be the first regulation of its kind in Latin America, where despite its success, Uber still faces strong opposition from established taxi drivers’ organizations.

Uber began operations in Mexico City in 2013 and reports that it now has over 300,000 users. Others operating on the same principal are Cabify and Yaxi.

About 140,000 registered cab drivers operate in Mexico City, and their protests against Uber have been constant and occasionally violent.

The GDF held a series of consultations recently to develop a strategy for addressing taxi drivers’ concerns.

In the State of México, where Gov. Eruviel Avila made it clear in May that Uber would not be permitted to operate within the state because it represented unfair competition, there has been a reversal. He said yesterday that a new law would be presented before Congress to regulate the new services and require them to meet certain requirements.

A similar story is unfolding in Querétaro where one official described Uber drivers as “pirates.” New legislation is being prepared there as well.

Source: El Financiero (sp), Milenio (sp)

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