Uber taxi service to expand to Algarve in 2016

Smartphone taxi service Uber has announced plans to expand to the Algarve for a limited period, perhaps “two or three months, maybe more”, in 2016.

The news came in an interview with Mark McGann, the head of Uber’s public policy in Europe, in Público newspaper.

McGann said that expanding to the Algarve is a matter of recruiting enough drivers to get the business going.

His announcement comes at a time when the US-based company is trying to become legal after months of heated protests from taxi drivers in Lisbon and Porto, who accuse Uber of posing “unfair and illegal competition”.

Meetings have been taking place with the Secretary of States for Transports, the Ministry of Economy and Lisbon council, with which Uber claims to have had “very constructive talks”.

“We have to have a combination of talks with the government and municipalities to try and reach a consensus,” explained McGann, adding that mayors can “help bring taxi associations to the negotiating table”.

McGann described Uber’s business in Portugal as “small but full of potential”, which is why the company says it is “anxious to work with the new government to modernise laws” and start working by the book.