By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved new legislation for transportation apps, such as Uber and Cabify, which will not require automobile to request special license plates but gave local governments the power to regulate and monitor the services within their cities. The decision was considered a victory for the application services.

Brazil, Brasilia,Brazil's Chamber of Deputies approved on Wednesday a bill to regulate taxi-hailing apps such as Uber
Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved on Wednesday a bill to regulate taxi-hailing apps such as Uber, photo by Luis Macedo/Camara dos Deputados.

“The new text approved today by the Chamber of Deputies heard the voice of the 20 million users and 500 thousand driver partners who found in Uber new forms of mobility and income generation in Brazil,” stated Uber Brasil in its webpage.

The company implemented an aggressive media plan last week, through ads on TV and radio, to pressure legislatures to approve the bill without adding clauses which would restrict the services.

“Instead of prohibiting, the text regulates the activity of the partner drivers and organizes criteria for the applications to operate,” added Uber.

In addition to not having to register the automobile with a special license plate, the Chamber of Deputies also rejected the rule that motorists must own the vehicle they use, but established that each city will determine the maximum age of the automobiles used in the service as well as being responsible for conducting extensive background checks on the drivers.

Uber’s closest competitor, Cabify, also celebrated the decision. “The Chamber of Deputies has brought Brazil to the forefront of regulating individual passenger transportation services through applications. […] Congress heard the voices of millions of users and hundreds of thousands of drivers of mobility applications,” said the statement released by Cabify executives on Wednesday night.

During the Wednesday session, lawmaker Daniel Coelho proposed that a project be drawn up to meet the demands of traditional taxi drivers.

“If we are concerned about the regulated taxi systems, we should build a positive agenda for taxis. It is not prohibiting Uber, the (other) applications, and those companies that bring innovation that we will help the taxi system,” said Coelho.

The bill will now go to President Michel Temer for sanction.

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