Uber suspends taxi service in Barcelona after new regulation

MADRID, Jan 31 (Reuters) - International ride-hailing service Uber said it was suspending its taxi service in the northern Spanish city of Barcelona after local authorities passed regulation which would limit how they operate in the city.

Uber has operated in Barcelona via its UberX service which uses professional, licensed drivers, since March of last year.

“The new restrictions approved by the Catalan Government leave us with no choice but to suspend UberX while we assess our future in Barcelona. We are committed to being a long term partner to Spanish cities and hope to work with the Catalan Government and the City Council on fair regulation for all,” an Uber spokesman said.

The local Catalan government has decreed that ride-hailing services can only pick up passengers after a delay of at least 15 minutes from the time of being booked.

The new regulation came after pressure from taxi drivers, which have held many strikes in Barcelona and remain on strike in Spanish capital Madrid.