11-09-2018

Taxi drivers in Majorca do not intend to establish a VTC (vehicles with drivers for hire) operation to compete with Uber and Cabify. A company, Balear de Servicios Discrecionales, was set up in order to potentially exploit 700 VTC licences. Its administrator, Biel Moragues, president of one of the taxi driver associations, says that these licences will be given up and that when they are, it will not be possible to let any other company have them. "They are never going to come into effect."

Moragues is confident that this will be the case and that the taxi drivers have no need for the licences because he expects the Balearic transport ministry to definitively deny the use of 260 VTC licences held by Ares Capital S.A. This company would sell the licences to Uber and Cabify.

The ministry started the process of denying the Ares licences last month. This was because the documentation that the company had supplied did not deal with insurance policies for each individual vehicle. There was an insurance certificate to cover all 260 vehicles, which was not what was needed. Ares was then given until 3 September to submit new documentation. This is being analysed and, for the moment, the ministry is making no comment.

If it were to be the case that the government does grant the licences, the taxi drivers will take legal action. Moragues says that there would be strong grounds for doing this.

At present in the Balearics there are 2,200 taxi licences and 211 VTC licences. These are used by chauffeur companies, have nothing to do with Uber and do not operate according to the same regulations as taxis. The taxi driver associations believe that 211 is sufficient.

Court rulings have established a general principle of there being one VTC licence for every thirty taxi licences, a ratio that taxi driver associations in Spain have been challenging.