The coronavirus speeds up the taxificación of Uber in Spain

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William GinésSEGUIRMADRID Updated: Save Send news by mail electrónicoTu name *

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it Was almost from one day to another. The coronavirus silenced the big Spanish cities, taking their frantic symphony of bothering honking and braking. The confinement motivated by the pandemic sank a 90% taxis and tourism vehicles with driver (VTC). Levels that were replicated in Uber. “It’s been really hard moments, and our activity in the segment of cars with driver was reduced to the maximum”, explains during an interview with ABC, the general director of the company in Spain, Juan Galiardo.

The manager puts in value that in the harshest moments of confining the activity of the company is limited practically to carry out initiatives of solidarity, translated into almost 10 million shifts free of health personnel. With the changes of phase of the desescalada, the company “put the focus on the safety and was recovering activity progressively”. And now that the bull run has finished, the demand “is behaving reasonably well”.

“we Hope to recover the activity from before the pandemic to the end of the year”

“We wondered what would happen with use cases as the of the night, where a lot of people we test and that next to the airport is one of the most important segments for us. Luckily, we are seeing that although bars and clubs have not re-opened to the 100%, people are still socializing and is still using our application”, explains Galiardo, that while pointing to a gradual recovery, it also acknowledges that Uber now operates in the medium gas.

According to his calculations, the activity of the platform is now 50% below the levels pre-crisis. In addition, “August will be a month of hard”. “we Hope to be able to retrieve the activity that we had before the pandemic to the end of the year,” explains the general director of the company in Spain, which puts its hopes on the recovery registered over these last few weeks will extend from the month of September.

The activity of the platform this today 50% below the levels pre-crisis

As demand recovers, the supply is transformed. Galiardo ensures that during the confinement “were high-as many taxi drivers as VTC. The volume of activity that make the taxi drivers with us has grown a lot.

we Started with 50 drivers at the end of the year and today there are over 700 registered in the application between license owners and employees. We can be a part of that recovery of the sector”, explains the manager, which ensures that the taxi is “a priority” for the company.

numbers Are still far away from the business of the VTC. In Madrid alone, about 4,000 licenses of vehicles with driver are linked to Uber. But in the company expect that both segments are coming to resemble more and more. Different groups of taxi have reported that the platform is a focus of insecurity, to which the company responds by ensuring that “many taxi cabs have come to be billed 4,000 euros per month” during the past few months. “we Believe we can provide solutions to the sector and we are seeing an especially good response”, explains the ceo of Uber Spain.

bus and Metro

beyond the taxi and VTC, the company has the ambitious project to integrate the services of subway and bus in the Community of Madrid in the application. The launch was delayed by the coronavirus, but Galiardo expects “to be able to pick up before the end of the year”: “we Want to contribute to reinstate the public transport users. we Cannot assign all the ground we had gained to the private car”.

For the moment, the service that is keeping the company is Uber Eats. “Is having an exponential growth. A lot of people who didn’t ask for food at home has proven it during the confinement, and a good number of restaurants have seen an opportunity in this period and have entered it in our application”.

The rise of this type of services has reopened the debate on the labour conditions of the “riders”that are working with this type of platforms.

Since Uber ensures that have not changed in a substantial way the conditions of these dispatchers in spite of the growth of the work load –something that has been done in other businesses– and who have “stepped up efforts” for these dispatchers to be able to “maximize their income”during the confinement. Yes, the platform continues to see a requirement that these workers are not hired to maintain the model.

And in all this maelstrom of business, the company faces a “cliff-regulatory”that can create thousands of licenses VTC disappear in 2021 if they are not regulated by the communities. “The big challenge is to see how you can transition out of regulations like the minimum time to wait, which is an obstacle very important in the recovery of mobility in cities like Barcelona or Valencia,” highlights Galiardo, remember that the Constitutional Court will rule soon on the standard of the City that requires the pre-hire of cars, VTC, a measure that led to the exit of the city of Uber. The steering calls for a few rules that not only “shield” to the VTC, but also “den flexilibilidad the taxi to compete in equality of conditions.”

No definitive figures for the ERE

The pandemic is making a dent in the business of mobility. Cabify has announced a ERTE from your staff in Spain, and Uber has been chosen directly by the ERE. “This is a transition very complicated, and it is our obligation to take the necessary measures to ensure the viability of the company. There were already a series of dynamic pre-Covid, such as the virtualization of the customer, which meant that we had to make the difficult decision to restructure the business,” said Galiardo, who ensures that do not yet have the final number of people affected by this job cut. is The Covid has also delayed the arrival of Uber to the benefits: before the pandemic, the company hoped to be profitable in 2020. Now that goal has been delayed until next year.