This week, the 88,000 Uber partner-drivers and the more than 2 million users in Colombia returned to service in the application.
The return of the controversial service occurred under a legal figure that is now framed in the rental of driver’s vehicles and took the Government, competitors and regulators by surprise, and raised doubts about the responsibility of those who use the application.
We answer 23 questions about Uber’s return that should be taken into account.
Uber was not prohibited?
Not strictly. The exit of the application was the result of a judicial decision of first instance that found him guilty of unfair competition in a specific lawsuit.
Is Uber finally legal?
Although Uber insists that “the business model has always been legal,” in light of the traffic regulations, which are being modernized because they are from 2002, transport by private vehicle is not authorized. Therefore, the applications request that the transport laws be updated.
Why did he come back?
Uber modified its service model and started operating as a contact portal for two parties that rent a car with a driver using a lease.
Is it a definitive solution?
Some sectors ensure that to provide the vehicle rental service, the operator must be registered with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and have a registry. However, the legislative path advances in seeking solutions not only for Uber, but for the other applications in the country.
What does that contract mean?
That each trip is a temporary lease in which users are renters and the vehicle and the driver are renters. Create 5 services: UberYA, Economy, Comfort, Uber XL and Per Hours.
Why the name change of the services?
Uber presented it as a “reinvention,” but says it has not changed its name, but that there is a “new product portfolio.” It does not go unnoticed that UberX, Uber Van and Uber were sued in the process before the SIC and the first instance ruling called for the cessation of their activities.
What responsibility does the user have? Should we pay for fines, crane or yards?
Not always. Although the contract includes responsibilities for the tenants (the users who rent the vehicle), the contract says that it must be financially responsible as long as there is an imputable cause. That is, if the infraction is your fault. While in the service, there is an operativo operational control ’to choose the payment method, indicate the destination, change it and suggest music preferences, temperature, speed.
Who pays tolls, gasoline, and VAT?
Fuel is paid by the driver and is included in the trip rate. The tolls are covered by the user, and VAT is still a tax added to the value of the race that is included in the final cost.
Who responds in case of accidents? Is there insurance?
In addition to Soat, which is the responsibility of the driver and must be in force to operate, the rental includes coverage of personal accident policies (which includes disability, first aid, etc.) and for civil liability (contractual and non-contractual), which protects passengers and third parties in case of accident.
Coverages are automatically activated when the driver accepts the request and ends when the last passenger leaves the vehicle.
What is the role of Uber?
Operate as a ‘contact platform’. That means you use your technology to receive lease requests and manage the assignment.
Are drivers employed?
No. The lessors are independent that operate through a contract with the end user. They do not meet schedule, do not wear uniform and can use other applications.
The reports in the application what are they for?
In the contract, Uber managed to maintain acceptance control, background check and driver-partner qualification. With this, the complaints will be useful to sanction users or drivers who do not follow the rules.
Is the dynamic rate still?
Yes. The mechanism is activated when it detects an increase in demand. It is a multiplier that applies to the price.
How does the rental system work for hours?
This option allows users a more flexible transport, with multiple destinations and waiting. The option has a different value for which at least one hour is charged. Waits must be agreed between user and driver.
Does the commission that Uber asks for travel change?
As Uber responded to EL TIEMPO, the commission is subject to continuous review to “be competitive.” Although he did not confirm the value of the commissions, he did specify that the service rates are different for each lease.
If a taxi wants to use the platform, can it?
Although there is no specific service at this time, according to Uber’s response it is not ruled out. Specifically, they will seek to “offer a variety of services that allow traditional and new alternatives, including taxis, to coexist.”
What was the reaction of the Government?
While the Ministry of Transportation acknowledged that it took it by surprise and initiated a detailed analysis of the new model to establish whether or not it meets the requirements, the Supertransport formally requested information from the company about details and terms of the new work scheme and gave Uber 10 days to answer.
Then, the entity will analyze and determine whether or not to initiate an administrative investigation, which may culminate filed or with the imposition of a sanction, which can be up to 700 legal minimum wages in force.
How is the regulation going?
Six agreements have already been defined between the Government and the congressmen promoting the bill that seeks to level the loads between taxis and individual transport platforms. These are insurance policies, social security for drivers, optimal vehicles for the service, the guarantee for the user to know who provides the service, how much it will cost and that the payment can be digital; also, that the georeferencing reaches a database in real time and a principle of legality is maintained for both parties.
What does the SIC say?
They have insisted that although the ruling was of immediate compliance, without precautionary measure, the SIC does not have how to demand compliance and that it is in the hands of the plaintiffs (Taxis Free and Cotech) to go to a civil judge to demand compliance with the ruling from December.
And the plaintiffs?
That they will use the letter of return of Uber in a criminal legal process before the Prosecutor for the crime of Fraud to judicial decision.
While Uber left, did the users return to the taxis? Did it improve confidence?
According to Hugo Ospina, based on his figures, taxi drivers provided more daily services and mobility in Bogotá improved 70 percent. However, the reports of the Mobility Secretariat do not usually show such significant changes, even when a car-free day takes place in the city.
How did the taxi drivers react?
On the day of Uber’s return they made a turtle plan, on 26th Street and La Esperanza Avenue, in the immediate vicinity of the Ministry of Transportation. They also announced a strike for next March 16 in which at least seven associations will participate.
Would other ‘apps’ assume that model?
At the moment, the Chinese rival Didi He said he analyzes the model, but that the solution is in the regulation and sent his proposals to the Government.