BUENOS AIRES – Taxi drivers plan to stage a protest on May 6 against ride-sharing service Uber, which is using social media to recruit drivers in Argentina.
Taxi operators oppose Uber because the ride-sharing platform engages in unfair competition with public transportation services, National Federation of Taxi Owners president Jorge Celia told EFE.
“We knew that starting in March, Uber would try to get into Argentina. Their plans have been delayed because they have not received a response at the governmental level,” Celia said, adding that taxi drivers “are on alert.”
So far, the city government of Buenos Aires, which regulates public transportations services, has sided with taxi drivers, indicating that any company wishing to operate in Argentina will have to follow the law.
Uber posted messages on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday, saying it planned to start interviewing drivers in Argentina.
The move followed announcements on LinkedIn a few weeks ago offering jobs and the address of a new office in Argentina.
“We do not have a date to start operations. First, we want to gauge the interest and availability of Argentines seeking new economic opportunities with the freedom and flexibility that the firm offers in 400 cities around the world,” Uber Southern Cone communications manager Soledad Lago Rodriguez said Sunday.
Uber, founded in the United States in 2009, is a mobile app that enables users to get a ride with a private driver, paying with a credit card for the trip, and offering rates that are usually lower than those of taxi cabs.
The service, which has been controversial in countries like France and Spain, where it was declared illegal, is already available in Latin America, operating in cities in Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay and Chile.