This South American Supercity Plans to Authorize Uber With a Mileage Fee

May 11, 2016, 8:18 AM UTC
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The Uber Technologies Inc. logo is displayed on the window of a vehicle after dropping off a passenger at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Uber Technologies Inc. investors are betting the five-year-old car-booking app is more valuable than Twitter Inc. and Hertz Global Holdings Inc. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg via Getty Images

The mayor of Sao Paulo, South America’s largest city, laid out regulations on Tuesday to allow the use of Uber and other ride-hailing apps in exchange for a mileage fee, triggering anger among taxi drivers who blocked major avenues.

Mayor Fernando Haddad plans to formalize the decision with a decree on Wednesday, overriding attempts by city council members to ban Uber and other apps they accuse of unfairly competing with licensed taxis.

Under the decree, Brazil’s congested business hub will charge an average fee of 10 centavos (3 cents) per kilometer for drivers working with Uber Technologies and newly arrived Spanish rival Cabify, the mayor’s office said.

The city expects to raise around 40 million reais ($11.5 million) a year with the measure, said Ciro Biderman, head of innovation for development agency SP Negocios, which designed the new regulations.


Irate cab drivers blocked a major artery during the evening rush hour and television footage showed a crowd pounding on the windows of a black car with tinted windows, fitting the profile of a standard Uber vehicle.

Uber embraced the mayor’s decision, calling it “the first step toward guaranteeing that apps intermediating travel with technology have a place in the city.”

Cabify declined to comment.

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