Uber and Cabify to stop operating in Barcelona after law changes

UBER: The private hire firm will no longer operate in Barcelona. Photo: Shutterstock

BEGINNING on Friday, UberX will cease operating in Barcelona.

The company announced the decision after the Government of Cataluña passed a law requiring a minimum 15-minute wait between ordering a taxi and being picked up.

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A second large private hire company, Cabify, also announced it would cease operating following the law change.

Uber said: “Given the restriction…approved by the Generalitat de Cataluña, we are forced to suspend the UberX service in Barcelona,”

In a statement on the company’s blog, Uber added: “thousands of drivers and users of the VTC…today see their livelihood disappear and their freedom to choose how they move around their city.”

A spokesman for the company later told press: “We are committed to being a long-term partner to Spanish cities and we hope to work with the Catalan Government and the City Council on fair regulation for all.”

Uber explained it hoped to work with the Catalan Government to create a new law regulating private hire vehicles which allowed the company to resume operating in the future.


  1. To pass a law to protect the taxi associations in Catalonia against independent companies like UberX is like using a sledge hammer to drive in a pin: over the top and completely counter productive. The whole concept of promoting investment, entrepreneurship and improving employment throughout Spain is damaged with this type of bullying by authorities abusing their powers.


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