Uber now covers entire Algarve coast

Smartphone transport service Uber has expanded its operation to cover the entire Algarve coast from Sagres to Vila Real de Santo António.

The service has been available in the region since June 2016 but only in the Faro and Albufeira areas.

“Starting June 28, Uber is available along the whole Algarve coast,” the company announced in a statement.

It adds that it is working to “guarantee the reliability of the service; in other words, that we have enough cars available to cover the whole of the Algarve and that waiting times become shorter and shorter this summer”.

Another project that is in the works is a “guide with recommendations to help tourists explore what is worth seeing in the Algarve”.

The news comes at a time when the company is battling for legislation that will allow it to operate legally alongside the traditional taxi sector.

Spokesperson Rui Bento says that Uber has followed the legislative battle closely.

“What we hope for is a modern regulatory framework that will allow us to introduce new technologies and new business models for mobility in Portugal. We hope that this approval will happen soon,” he said, insisting that Uber is not necessarily a taxi service and thus should not be seen as one in the eyes of the law.

In his opinion, Uber is an electronic platform that connects drivers to customers and should not be bogged by the same regulations that apply to taxi drivers.

Taxi association ANTRAL sees things differently and has been waging a tough battle to ensure that Uber is subject to all the same rules and taxes that taxis are.

In March, a series of draft laws were presented (by PS, PCP, BE and PSD) to introduce new regulations for the transportation of passengers in vehicles that are not taxis.

Since then, the proposals have been stuck in judicial limbo, reports Lusa.

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