Ride-sharing services have been given a sliver of hope after an updated version of a bill to regulate services like Uber was passed by Brazil’s Senate on Tuesday.
This comes after Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, warned the Brazilian government that regulations would negatively affect 500,000 drivers and 17 million passengers who use the app.
Currently available in 90 cities, Brazil is Uber’s second-largest market after the United States.
Originally, Brazilian lawmakers wanted to require Uber drivers to apply for licenses with local municipalities to be able to use red number plates typically meant for public-transport vehicles in the country.
“The bill would make the system too bureaucratic,” Fabio Sabba, Uber’s communication chief in Brazil, told the Wall Street Journal. “It would become harder to work.”
Uber drivers are still subject to local authorities' licensing and tax rules, but officials approved a more lenient version of the bill without the above-mentioned stipulations. It now goes back to Brazil’s lower house for another vote.
This isn’t the only battle Uber executives are fighting in order to get the app into markets around the world.
In September, Transport for London, which runs and regulates the British capital’s transport system, stripped Uber of its license claiming that the company was unfit to run a taxi service. Almost a million people have signed a petition on change.org to keep Uber in London, claiming that the ban will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive millions of Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.
Uber won big in Texas in 2017 after a bill was signed by Governor Greg Abott (R) that overrode local ordinances that regulate ride-hailing services.
Both Uber and Lyft left Austin after a vote requiring fingerprint-based background checks from ride-sharing drivers and bans on passenger pickup in traffic lanes was passed in May 2016.
Uber and Lyft claimed that background checks were too onerous and should be reserved for security sensitive personnel only.
A proposal from the California Public Utilities Commission aimed to require similar background checks but was ultimately denied by California state legislators.
Uber is currently banned, or heavily regulated in parts of Europe, China, South America, and Canada.