Uber CEO visits Brazil ahead of mobility bill vote

Dara Khosrowshahi heads to the country's capital as Senate prepares to vote regulation that could kill off transportation apps.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is in Brazil in appointments including a visit to the country's capital Brasília ahead of a Senate vote to regulate mobility apps.

Khosrowshahi will visit the company's Brazil headquarters in São Paulo and will then head off to Brasília - presumably to follow the vote tomorrow - according to information from Reuters.

The regulations to be voted could threaten the business model practiced by Uber and other ridesharing apps operating in Brazil. Uber is by far the most popular app in the country, followed by local firm 99 and Spanish company Cabify.

The bill PLC 28/2017 is aimed at increasing bureaucracy in a way that it will render impossible for drivers to operate through the apps. Drivers working through the apps would need to get taxi license plates and have special driving licenses as well as other documents that are currently required of taxi drivers.

These changes, according to the mobility companies, not only render their own operation impossible but are also unviable to drivers. The first version of the bill was much more restrictive and has since been replaced by another legislation project, more favorable to apps, was recommended for voting by the Senate.

The plan was that the draft regulations would go through several commissions for discussion before being submitted for voting again. However, pressure from taxi driver unions fast-tracked the vote.

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