SAO PAULO (AP) — Drivers from Uber snarled traffic in several Brazilian cities on Monday with “go-slow” parades to protest a bill aimed at regulating ride-sharing apps that critics say would make the services unviable.
Around 1,500 cars wound through the streets of Sao Paulo for three hours, according to organizers. Drivers beeped their horns and flashed their hazard lights, occasionally pulling over to stand on top of their cars and draw more attention to their cause. Several similar protests were held nationwide.
In Brasilia, the capital, Uber drivers were arriving in front of Congress, promising to hold a vigil overnight. Taxi drivers were also expected to stage a protest there.
The lower house of Congress has passed a bill that would require municipal governments to regulate ride-sharing apps like Uber, including charging new taxes, requiring insurance for passengers and pension benefits for drivers, and implementing increased oversight of drivers and their cars. The Senate is expected to take up the bill Tuesday.
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Brazilian cab drivers have pushed for the measures, complaining that Uber and similar companies can undercut taxi rates because they don’t face the same regulation. But drivers for ride-sharing apps and some lawmakers say that the proposed regulation would be so onerous as to put the services out of business and rob perhaps hundreds of thousands of Brazilians of work as drivers.