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Uber Disconnects 90% of Its Drivers In Panama

Uber in Panama announced that from 4:00 pm Friday, November 24, it began a test of what would be the service in line with the government decree of October 31, 2017.

Government imposed requirements on drivers of transportation technology platforms, such as being over 21 years of age, having a special license and charging for the service online

Uber said this means it will disconnect drivers who do not comply with the guidelines of the decree, affecting more than 90% of the 8,000 drivers -7,200 – that do not meet the requirements and can not access the application.

The government Juan Carlos Varela decree regulates luxury transportation (such as Uber and Cabify), requiring among other iterms, drivers be over 21 years of age and have a Type E1 driver’s license issued by the Transportation Authority (ATTT) and accept payment only by way of electronic payments (no cash).

The decress also establishes that the service can only be provided by natural persons , who must own the vehicle or duly authorized third parties, and that only two vehicles can be registered by the same owner.

The company said that around 52% – 60% of all Uber trips are paid for in cash.

announced at the end of October that the drivers of the transportation technology platforms (such as Uber and Cabify) must be over 21 years of age and have a Type E1 driver’s license issued by the and limites payments only via electronic means (online). E1 licenses are reserved for Panamanians that are require to present a police record to obtain the license class.

The presidential decree gave providers 60 days to adapt to the new provisions.

Uber says the measures are disrcimnatory and limits their function. On its platform, Uber is asking for people to sign a petition to modify the decree.

“We want to understand how the Uber community will be affected with these new measures. This test gives us the opportunity to study and measure, in real time, what kind of challenges this new decree presents,” said the general manager of Uber in Central America, Andrés Echandi.

The Uber chief said that the company has 225,000 users in the country and for more than 50% of its 8,000 drivers, Uber is their only source of income.

Article originally appeared at Today Panama. Click here to go there.