Brazilian Authorities Force Taxi Drivers To Accept Card Payments


Following the news that Brazilian taxi drivers are being accused of preventing taxi-app Uber from developing its business model throughout the country, comes further news that drivers in São Paulo will now have to accept credit and debit cards as means of payments from their passengers. The regulation was published by the Department of Public Transport in the official Gazette of the municipality.

It’s reckoned that there are around 34,000 licensed cabs currently operating in São Paulo, and they have been given 30 days in which to comply with this new policy. The drivers have until the 19th of December to purchase appropriate card machines.

The rule also establishes that taxi drivers should also fit their vehicles with chargers for electronic devices. This is so passengers can charge their electronic devices, including mobiles, laptops and tablets.

Natalício Bezerra, President of the Taxi Drivers’ Union, generally welcomed the idea, but said that the drivers would need more time to buy the card machines. Sources say he will ask for an extension of the time period.

Drivers are also being encouraged to adopt the use of bicycle holders in their vehicles, although the adoption of these are up to the individual drivers.

These rules are being implemented as a courtesy for the passengers and as an action to reduce the market disputes between taxi drivers and services like Uber, who only accept credit cards. Drivers who don’t adopt the new changes may be fined and repeat offenders may be banned for a number of days.

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Reference: ABECS