Uber in Brazil: a tale of two cities

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Two Brazilian cities, two very different approaches.

Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes signed a law earlier this week that prohibits the operation of private transportation services, effectively banning Uber. The law says only registered taxis can be paid to carry passengers. An injunction is keeping services like Uber operating.

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Meanwhile, São Paulo city hall will be able to monitor and regulate the number of cars working with transportation apps Uber, Cabify, 99POP and Easy through an online platform developed by the World Bank. Drivers will download an application, initially available on Android, that will relay information about all their trips.

The four apps are allowed to operate in Brazil's largest city, after mayor Fernando Haddad issued a decree to override attempts by city council members to ban Uber. In exchange, the ride-hailing apps pay a fee for using public roads, though Uber has obtained an injunction to avoid paying it.

The regulatory platform will be implemented by SP Negócios, a municipal company in charge of attracting investments. The application is expected to be operational by year-end, according to local media reports.