The war between taxis and vehicles with VTC licenses, those used by Cabify and Uber, has taken a new turn with the departure of the two major platforms in Barcelona. The legislation promoted by the Generali that, since the autonomies have ceded the competition since last year, has buried the model of the applications, as they have defended when announcing their departure.
Despite the fact that the regulations in hand are different services, with their own characteristics, in practice, they have competed for face to face in Barcelona and will continue to do so in Madrid or Malaga, other cities where they have great implementation.
The difference with the taxi
Prices, recruitment, services…
A license for tourist vehicles with a driver (VTC) enables you to perform pre-contracted services. That is to say that, unlike the taxi, customers cannot be attracted on the street or at authorized stops, but rather they are contracted a priori; multiple services cannot be chained in a row, since you must return to the base after each client; and prices are set before you get in the car, not at the end, which means they are set based on supply and demand. The latter means that rates can skyrocket on occasions of emergency or large turnout.
Different licenses and authorizations for different services. In practice, these characteristics were not fulfilled, according to the taxi drivers, since the VTCs were parked near areas of high demand or events waiting for a service to enter, which would be captured at street level, and they did not return to the base after services. Verschil Tussen Taxi en Uber
Of the worlds
Another significant difference is the cost of licenses and authorizations. In a market governed by supply and demand, while up to 150,000 euros are paid for a taxi license in the most prominent cases, VTCs are around a third of that amount. In both cases, figures are very far from the price of the original administrative procedure, especially in the case of the VTC.
On this basis, taxi drivers denounce intrusiveness driven by much cheaper authorizations than theirs. And that by rebounding they can drop the value so high that they paid to get into the taxi, making their initial investment unrecoverable.
The ratio 1/30
Currently, the granting of VTC licenses is restricted, since in order to grant them, the rule of 1 VTC license for every 30 taxis must be respected. There where it is breached, in a large part of the national territory, they should not be granted.
But in the courts, there are thousands of licenses pending granting that were processed between 2009 and 2015 when the granting of authorizations was not restricted. Therefore, the VTC will grow, while taxi licenses have been at the same figures for years (in the historical series, offered by the National Institute of Statistics and dating back to 1994, it is always around 70,000)., which further pushes the 1/30 ratio.
With all this context, the Generali has chosen to legislate, according to the VTC, in favor of the taxi without taking advantage of ordering the entire sector and that it really competes on equal terms. A missed opportunity, following the message that the platforms have transmitted in their communications when announcing their departure from the Catalan capital.