“Taxis have won”: Uber and Cabify to leave Barcelona

Ride-sharing companies accuse Catalan govt of "conceding to blackmail"

Taxi drivers protesting against ride-sharing services (by Andrea Zamorano)
Taxi drivers protesting against ride-sharing services (by Andrea Zamorano) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

January 22, 2019 09:43 PM

Uber and Cabify have announced that they will stop offering their services in Barcelona after the Catalan government puts forward a new law that will effectively set a reservation time for ride-sharing services to a 1-hour-minimum advance.

The executive’s initial plans to set a call time of 15-minutes-minimum sparked outrage among taxi drivers. On strike since Friday last week, drivers blocked the city center of Barcelona and held massive protests for five days in a row. They also clashed with police officers and vandalized several Uber and Cabify vehicles.

"The Catalan government has conceded to the blackmail of taxi drivers," said Cabify’s Global Head of Regulation, Marta Plana.

"Taxis have won," said Josep Maria Goñi, president of Unauto ride-sharing companies association.

Goñi also confirmed a layoff of all employees working for ride-sharing firms in Barcelona.

Taxi drivers will hold a mass meeting on Wednesday morning to decide whether they accept the Catalan government offer or maintain the strike.