BA Taxi: the city's travel app grows, while AFIP applies "deadly blow" to Uber
The arrival of Uber arrived in Argentina, in mid-2016, began a revolution in the rigid transportation system that dominated the local market. With the promise of connecting passengers with drivers, the application prompted a profound and controversial change in the way people travel in the City.
The response from the Buenos Aires government, which at that time considered the app illegal, was not long in coming: a few months later he presented BA Taxi, another mobile tool that allows centralizing taxi drivers.
Today, the Uber scenario in Argentina, and especially in Buenos Aires, is darker than ever, despite the Buenos Aires Court ruling that ruled that the app is legal: the AFIP denounced the company for alleged evasion of $ 358 million in concept of taxes and employer obligations, since it considers its 60,000 drivers as employees in a dependency relationship.
"In the area of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, the passenger transport service has a special regime, embodied in the Transit and Transportation Code (Law 2,148), Law 3,622, Ordinance 47,561 / 94, among other regulations," explain to iProUP sources from the Ministry of Transportation.
"Issues related to administration, transportation and the need for the State to intervene and regulate the guidelines in which this commercial activity is exercised can not be overlooked," they add.
On the side of Uber, its executives have repeatedly stated that the firm should not be considered within the transport category but, rather, as a service company. This view is not shared by the officials who say that, due to the type of task they perform, the public interest is directly compromised.
"Even when they see it only from a commercial point of view, their activity presents the characteristics of a public service," say official sources consulted by iProUP.
"It does not pay taxes and it does not comply with the controls to drivers, who operate without professional licenses or authorized vehicles In a legal market where other drivers pay their taxes and must undergo different types of supervision, our function is to say that Uber does not He can operate, he did everything illegally, "they emphasize.
BA Taxi, the response of the Buenos Aires government
In the Federal Capital, more than 37,000 taxis circulate daily. In the search to modernize the service, from the Secretariat of Transportation they promoted an application designed so that all the vehicles could adapt to new standards according to the so-called "collaborative economy", using technological innovations to do so.
"Buenos Aires is one of the most innovative cities in Latin America, it is permanently incorporating technology applied to transportation to improve the safety and quality of life of people," the Secretariat points out.
In this context, the launch of "BA Taxi" was designed as a spearhead for this transformation in this area, since it allows passengers to pay with credit and debit cards in addition to rating their experiences.
Strictly speaking, BA Taxi enables:
- Check the driver and vehicle data
- Estimate the approximate travel fare, both day and night
- Pay the trip through credit and debit card with Mercado Pago
- Rate the trip, from 1 to 5 stars.
- Registration of the start, route and destination of the route, including amount, route, date and time and duration.
- Recover items lost by passengers in less time and with greater efficiency
- Choose women as conductors
Among other filters with which the app already has listed: trip to province, pets, English or Portuguese language and size of the car (large or medium).
One of the main benefits is the card payment, a method that users use in a minority fee (only 16%). "The implementation of this point standardizes the service, enabling the passenger does not have the need to have cash and have more alternatives," say the authorities.
By having information about the drivers, passengers can recover forgotten belongings: so far in 2019, many objects have been restored, from backpacks to oncological studies, credit cards, notebooks and all kinds of documentation.
Modernize to the rhythm of the City
In the recent edition of Smart City Expo, in Buenos Aires, the work of the Federal Capital with regard to modernization was highlighted. In comparison with the rest of the cities in the region, the Buenos Aires district is leading its transformation driven both in mobility and security.
"In terms of traffic we are very advanced, with good quality and data processing," assures iProUP Fernando Benegas, Minister of Justice and Security of the City of Buenos Aires. This is part of the mobility plan, through which more than 8,500 cameras installed on the streets are controlled.
In another order, the authorities closed agreements with companies such as Waze and Google, with the idea of sharing data that helps "intelligent decision-making".
In the taxi ecosystem, sources of the Ministry of Transport indicate that in 8 years 0Km mobile phones were incorporated and the average seniority was reduced (almost 8 years in half).
"Drivers know that the use of the application will improve the quality and transparency of the service, both for the passenger and the taxi driver," they add. In this line, the Buenos Aires Government implemented a totem service at the Aeroparque stop.
The Secretariat of Transportation of the City worked in conjunction with the Ministry of Transportation of the Nation and Airports Argentina 2000 to improve entry into the area of passenger ascent, verifying that only those who have their licenses per day offer travel. In its first year:
On average, about 800 taxis enter daily, while before the implementation of the electronic barrier only entered 130 per day, marking an increase of more than 500%
As a goal for this year, from BA Taxi want to meet the times for the implementation of the Modernization Plan designed for the sector.
"This system seeks to make the service more transparent in mass stops not only in relation to the fare, but with technology to provide greater predictability to the passenger, modernize the service and have greater control", assure the Secretariat.
"It is a measure to organize the departure of passengers, while totems have already started to work in Aeroparque," they conclude.