São Paulo mayor seeks Uber approval

Fernando Haddad wants to legalize the app before city elections in October

São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad wants to get transportation app Uber regulated before municipal elections take place later this year.

According to local newspaper Folha de São Paulo, Haddad wants a quick conclusion to the debate over the app's regulation, which has been dragging on for months and has faced strong opposition from taxi drivers.

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The Mayor is looking to fast-track the regulations for the app to operate before the end of June through a decree, according to the Folha piece. Municipal elections will take place in October this year in Brazil.

The news emerges after voting on the project that would regulate Uber has been adjourned by the São Paulo City Council after pressure from taxi drivers and the union that represents them.

Last year, a proposal was presented to the City Council to allow studies to be carried out by the Mayor's office to legalize new technologies that focus on public transport, including not just Uber but private car rental and rideshare apps.

The idea is that these companies would operate based on a online credit purchase scheme and effectively buy the right to have cars working under their apps. This would provide the Mayor's office with information on rides and set caps for the number of vehicles that can work under each tool.

The project also requires the creation of mechanisms to better evaluate the service provided by traditional taxis.

Uber has been continually expanding in Brazil despite its legal battles. The company has disclosed that there are more than 500,000 users of the service across the four Brazilian capitals where it operates.