March 1, 2018 / 3:26 AM / 8 months ago

Brazil Congress approves rules for Uber, other ride-hailing apps

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved a weakened version of a bill late on Wednesday to regulate car-hailing apps like Uber but maintained a provision allowing local governments to institute rules for the services.

The Uber logo is seen on a screen in Singapore August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White

The bill will now pass to President Michel Temer for signature or veto.

Brazil’s Senate approved the bill last year under heavy lobbying from ride-hailing companies, voting to weaken regulations, including removing requirements for special red license plates for ride-hailing cars and for drivers to own their cars.

The lower house of Congress accepted those amendments but voted to maintain a provision allowing for local governments to regulate the services, although local approval is not required for applications to operate in individual municipalities.

Uber and other ride-hailing apps praised the latest version of the bill for responding to the concerns of its drivers and passengers.

“Instead of prohibiting, the text regulates the activity of partner drivers and organizes criteria for apps to operate,” Uber said in a statement.

Spain’s Cabify, which operates in Brazil, said the bill “puts Brazil on the forefront of regulation for individual passenger transportation service apps” and that it was “an achievement for the urban mobility sector.”

Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Paul Tait

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