Mayor Fernando Haddad (Workers’ Party) decided to expand São Paulo’s taxi fleet by creating a new internet service that does not necessarily include Uber; an application that connects drivers to passengers.
The company said the new service does not fit in the new rules and that it will continue operating normally with its fleet, which is considered illegal in city.
Haddad’s announcement occurred in a moment when Uber grows and taxi drivers push to prohibit the service.
Under protest by taxi drivers in front of City Hall, Haddad said that 5,000 new vehicles will be allowed – with no meter and connected through applications only. That means there will be a 15% increase in the current taxi fleet.
[The service has been named “Black Taxi”, featuring four-door luxury cars with factory air-conditioning and a screen to show the route taken.
The public notice to select the first drivers will be out in two months and the applications interested in providing the service will need to accredit.
The new rate can be up to 25% higher than the regular taxi, but the drivers will be free to give discounts.
The drivers of this new fleet will have to pay to get a permit. The price will still be set, but the mayor’s assistants estimated that it can reach US$ 15,850 (R$ 60,000) for a permit valid for 35 years. On the parallel market, a taxi licence is currently sold for over US$ 26,430 (R$ 100,000).
Before the announcement, taxi drivers protested against Uber in front of the City Hall. A reporter and a cameraman from TV Globo were assaulted.