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Now Uber launches shared scooter scheme in Madrid

Global ride-hailing giant Uber on Tuesday launched in Madrid its first electric kick scooter rental service in Europe through its subsidiary Jump.

Now Uber launches shared scooter scheme in Madrid
Photo: AFP

The company, which already offers a car-hailing service which competes with taxis in Madrid, said it distributed 566 of the electric scooters in the Spanish capital, where they will compete with a dockless electric bicycle sharing scheme.

People can locate a scooter via its app or maps and then ride it by paying a one euro unlocking fee plus riding costs of 0.12 euro per minute, it added in a statement.

“Uber picks Madrid for the first launch in Europe of Jump by Uber, its electric scooter service. Users in that capital have since today a new alternative to move around,” the statement said.

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Madrid city hall has authorised a total of 22 companies to provide shared electric scooters, part of its push to encourage more environmentally-friendly forms of transportation. and cut air pollution. It will allow a maximum of 10,000 electric scooters to be distributed across the city of some 3.2 million residents.

Uber already provides electic scooters for rent in several cities in the United States.   

Several European cities have in recent months introduced restrictions on the use of electric scooters to reduce the threat to pedestrians.

Paris earlier this month introduced fines for riding on sidewalks with electric scooters while Barcelona, Spain's second-largest city, has banned the use shared electric scooters.

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BARCELONA

Barcelona taxi drivers prepare legal battle against Uber and Cabify

A Barcelona-based association of taxi drivers on Thursday announced it would lodge a legal complaint against ride-hailing services Uber and Cabify for fraud and other offences.

Barcelona taxi drivers prepare legal battle against Uber and Cabify
Photo: AFP

In all the Elite Taxi group, which represents 2,000 drivers, will take on 11 firms and 15 individuals, as well as US-based Uber and Spanish company Cabify, according to Alberto Alvarez, spokesman for the association.   

The legal complaint, to be lodged in Madrid next week, is just the latest attempt by registered taxi drivers in several countries to stop potential customers using the new, less regulated, services which they believe provide unfair competition.

The accusations will include fraud but also money-laundering, tax infringements and flouting workers' rights.   

Rideshare companies maintain that drivers are able to thrive and maintain work flexibility, and that their business model would not work if drivers were treated as wage-based employees.

In late 2017, the Elite Taxi association obtained a judicial victory when the European Court of Justice ruled that Uber is an ordinary transportation company instead of just an online app and should be regulated as such.   

Last year Spanish taxi drivers went on strike for several days, calling in the authorities to restrain the activities of the ride-hailing operators.   

In several Spanish cities, including  Valencia and Barcelona, new rules have been adopted including requiring customers of ride-hailing services to book a ride at least 15 minutes in advance.

READ MORE: Uber and Cabify suspend services in Barcelona in row over new regulations

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