The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma), Raquel Sánchez, has threatened to sue Cabify for the advertising campaigns that the company has launched this week to criticize the ministry’s decision not to extend the licenses of transport vehicles with driver (VTC) that expire next October 1. “Given the content and both direct references to the ministry and personal references to the head of this department in the advertising campaign launched by the company Cabify, Mitma is analyzing the possibility of taking all the measures deemed appropriate,” he said this Thursday in a statement from the department of Raquel Sánchez.
The ministry refers to two advertising campaigns launched by Cabify to criticize the contradictions of Transport and its inhibition in the regulation of the VTC sector, which it has left in the hands of the autonomous communities. In one of those campaigns you can read: ¨The same politicians who do not want you to use VTC have made 5,437* trips on Cabify”. The company clarified that with this figure it was referring to the routes that have been contracted with its platform “from/to the Ministry of Transport in 2022″, whose headquarters are on Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid.
However, the campaign that has hurt the minister the most is that Cabify is carrying out in Gavà (Barcelona), the hometown of Raquel Sánchez and of which she was mayor before taking office in the central government. “R. Sánchez, your Cabify is waiting for you in Madrid. Although you don’t want your neighbors from Gavà to travel by VTC, don’t worry: you can continue traveling to other cities“, indicates the signage in Spanish and Catalan distributed in the municipality.
Both Cabify and, in general, all the companies in the sector have been very critical of Transport’s position of not approving national legislation for the sector. The previous minister, José Luis Ábalos, in the 2018 decree that is popularly known by his last name, established a transitional period of four years for the autonomies to regulate the activity of VTCs on urban routes before October 1, 2022, from so that, if they did not, these vehicles could only make intercity journeys, practically condemning them to disappearance, since their main business is urban travel. Despite the imminence of the deadline, only Madrid and Catalonia have approved clear regulations on the matter. In the rest of the communities, they will live in a legislative limbo as of October.
Resolution of resources
From the ministry it is defended that the autonomous communities and local entities should be the ones that regulate exclusively urban services, because they are the ones that best know the specific transport needs of each territory, a distribution of powers that is in accordance with the Constitution. Likewise, they insist that the autonomies or the municipalities have had sufficient time (four years) to assess and finally approve the regulation that they consider most appropriate for the provision of services, including possible extensions to the initial period of four years established in September 2018, because with the new competence framework established by the Ábalos decreeTransportes already lacks competence in this matter.
However, the ministry admits that the decree contemplated the exceptional possibility for VTC holders to request, up to three months after its approval, an extension of the four years, if they estimated that the initial term was not sufficient to recover their investment. . Consequently, 16,000 claims were filed.
Of that total, the ministry has only resolved 4,000, understanding that the rest were under the regulatory umbrella of the autonomous communities, especially Madrid, where there are a greater number of licenses. And in a resolution published in the State official newsletter Last Tuesday, the 20th, the extension was granted only for 95 licenses that had proven that they needed more than the initial four-year moratorium to recover their investment. The rest, 3,906, have been dismissed, most because they did not meet the conditions, especially that they had acquired the car or the authorization after September 30, 2014, four years before the entry into force of the decree law that passed the hot potato of the VTC to the autonomous communities.