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Uber Transport Platform Leaves Madeira

The UBER transport platform will stop operating in the Autonomous Region of Madeira as of Thursday, the 6th of May, due to the Regional Government limiting the number of  TVDE vehicles allowed to operate in the region to 40.

Responding to this, UBER driver, Cristhian Nóbrega, said “60 drivers are now unemployed while the other 40 will try to operate, but in this case they will struggle to make ends meet, as they will no longer be supported by the UBER digital platform.”

Cristhian Nóbrega, recently participated in a demonstration against the legislation defined by the executive, in Funchal, and considers that, with the limitation of the number of vehicles and the withdrawal of the UBER platform, “the Madeiran people will pay more for an inferior service. Moreover, the tourism sector will also be affected, because visitors are used to using this form of transport.” Concluding he said “one cannot be European for some things and not for others!”

On the 1st of April, UBER issued a statement indicating that it had decided to “suspend its activity in the region as the new regional legislation limits the number of vehicles and companies available to provide services in the region, strangling companies and drivers ability to react to its clients. This limitation will have a profound impact on the quality and reliability of the service, making the UBER application in Madeira unviable.”

With the departure of UBER, which first started operating in Madeira in 2019, TVDE operators and drivers can offer their services through the BOLT platform, which still remains active in the autonomous region.

In a press statement, the Regional Secretary for Economy, Rui Barreto (he of the €29,800 Chega loan) explained that the adaptation of the law and the limitation of the number of TVDE drivers allows for the “coexistence between taxis and TVDE.” Furthermore, Rui Barreto states that the Regional Governments decision is “balanced, sustainable and provides a legal solution.”

However, Cristhian Nóbrega disputes the government’s explanation saying “Forty TVDE vehicles for 850 taxis is a ridiculous number, and from what has been decided, we know that the law was created to pacify the taxi sector lobbyists.”

Meanwhile, BOLT are thought to be strengthening their presence in Madeira as a company Green scooter was seen in Funchal.  Up until now, BOLT scooters have only been seen operating in Lisbon.

Samantha Gannon

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