Uber Sets Eyes on Argentina But May Receive a Chilly Welcome - Here's Why
Uber is broadening its operations by setting its sights on Argentina.
Since January, the company has been posting plenty of job advertisements on LinkedIn and revealing its plan to conduct operations in Argentina. The announcement, however, wasn't welcomed warmly.
Soledad Lago Rodríguez, Communications Manager at Uber Sur, told La Nación that the company is "evaluating the possibility of providing a service in Argentina," though a definite date is still unknown given that they are still in the dark regarding the conditions, The Bubble reported.
Uber, a transportation alternative to taxi services that can be operated through an app on your smartphone, has been operating in Latin America since 2014. Among the countries currently allowing Uber operations are Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.
In February, Uber received $200 million from investment group LetterOne, or L1, to aid in its expansion in emerging markets such as Asia, according to The Tico Times.
Why Uber is not Welcome in Argentina
Despite Uber's low priced and convenient service, many still scoff at its presence. One reason behind this is because Uber allows unlicensed drivers to avoid the normal regulations commonly required from professionals.
In Argentina, the current price of a taxi license reaches up to AR$190,000. Potential drivers are required to undergo a special course and exams, as well as submit a driving license, identity card, proof of address and criminal record.
José Robles from Taxi Real in Lima, Peru voiced his disapproval of Uber.
"I believe that [Uber] is a company that is using good technology but its model of business is devastating for both taxi companies and for taxi drivers because they employ people who are not registered by the countries' authorities," Robles told The Bubble. "This has made fair competition almost impossible for official taxis who have to pay fees every year for procedures related to licenses, exams and maintenance of the vehicle."
Eduardo, a taxi driver in Buenos Aires, said that Uber's existence is unfair because "[the company] doesn't have go through the same inspections as we do. It's not fair that we have to pay for our licenses and go through the whole process of being certified, when they can just start whenever they like," the news outlet added.
Aside from failing to obtain official endorsement from local authorities, Uber is also facing complaints regarding its drivers. Despite insisting that it has performed background checks on its drivers, Uber has been slapped with complaints about the matter.
An Uber driver in Michigan, U.S. has shot and killed six people recently. Last year, an Uber driver in Chicago reportedly exposed himself to a female passenger.
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