Rio to raise $5 million with mobility app regulation

Part of the revenues to be paid by ridesharing apps is expected to go towards the city's own mobility tool.

The Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro expects to raise 20 million reais ($5 million) with the regulation of mobility apps.

The city issued a decree that regulates transportation services via apps such as Uber, Cabify and local companies like local unicorn 99.

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According to the decree, companies operating these services will have to pass a percentage of the total value of trips on to the City Hall, which is expected to generate the multimillion-dollar figure yearly. Part of the money raised is expected to go towards the continued development of the city's own mobility tool, Taxi.Rio, launched last year.

In addition to sharing part of their revenues, companies providing mobility services in Rio will have to comply with a series of demands within a 180-day timeframe.

This includes periodically presenting a list of drivers operating via the service, getting drivers to submit criminal record checks and go through a course similar to the training carried out by taxi drivers.

Despite expressing concerns that the Rio decree might introduce bureaucracies that might hamper service delivery, Uber said the city is leading the debate among Brazilian cities that are still figuring out how to satisfy taxi lobbyists, mobility companies and users.

"While stipulating clear rules for individual private transportation in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the decree rejects artificial limitations such as the use of restricted license plates for this type of service - leading the debate on how technology can best serve cities," the company said in a statement.