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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved on Tuesday (April 4th) a bill which regulates transportation services through applications such as Uber and Cabify. The bill determines a series of requirements for this type of service, including prior authorization from city halls.

Uber motorists protest outside Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, Brazil News
Uber motorists protest outside Congress in Brasilia, photo by Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil.

“Our goal with this project is to ensure that a mode of transportation that has already spread throughout the country has some kind of regulation.

It is not possible to have a service of this magnitude and the municipal authority can not do this regulation,” said Representative Carlos Zarattini, who proposed the original bill.

According to the bill approved, private transportation services will only be legalized if they receive an authorization from the municipalities, as already happens with taxis. Drivers of these private services will also be required to pay taxes on their earnings and carry insurance for passengers.

“We know that some Brazilian cities have already created local legislation that has managed to provide a peaceful coexistence between taxi service and applications, such as the case of Brasilia. The debate needs to focus on the user and the possibility of choosing, and on generating employment,” said Representative Daniel Coelho.

The approval was loudly celebrated by taxi drivers who accompanied the voting from the Chamber’s galleries. Outside, Uber supporters placed signs on the Congressional Law asking for the right to decide.

In a statement, Uber representative in Brazil said that the bill proposes a law that ‘does not regulate Uber in Brazil, but rather tries to transform it into a taxi, thus prohibiting this model of mobility’. The company said it hopes the discussion will continue in the Senate, where the bill must also be approved.

“The PL (bill) now goes to the Federal Senate, where the debate on technology must continue, ensuring that the voice of millions of people in Brazil who want to have their right of choice is heard,” concluded the Uber statement.

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