UPDATE 2-Mexico City unveils first regulation on Uber in Latin America
(Recasts with extra comments from Uber and Cabify reaction)
By Max De Haldevang
MEXICO CITY, July 15 (Reuters) - Mexico City became the first city in Latin America to regulate Uber on Wednesday , announcing rules that include a 1.5 percent ride levy, a yearly permit fee and a minimum vehicle value.
The city government said vehicles used by Uber and other services such as Cabify would have to cost at least 200,000 pesos ($12,674). That was 50,000 pesos less than in draft regulation seen by Reuters last week, but more than the company had hoped. Each Uber vehicle will also need a 1,599 peso yearly permit that will be paid by the driver.
Nevertheless, the rules did not impose a limit to the number of vehicles Uber could deploy around the city, which Mexico City had threatened to do in its preliminary proposals.
Uber said the 200,000 peso minimum value was "a high bar" but "doable." Before the regulation was published, the firm said the price had "no logical benefit" to the city.
The minimum start-up cost for drivers to use its most popular service was around 150,000 pesos including the cost of a car, but most cars are valued at more than 200,000 pesos when other features are included, Uber spokeswoman Ana Paula Blanco said.
The company was relieved that a previous plan to enforce a minimum car age of five years had been removed.
Last week Uber's public policy director Corey Owens said the 1.5 percent ride levy is at the "high end" of what it pays in other cities, such as a 1 percent charge in Washington D.C. That cost cannot be passed on to passengers or drivers but will be paid by the company, a government spokesman said. Continuación...