UPDATE: Uber is again available in Madrid as of March 30.
Uber, more specifically UberPop, was banned in Spain in December 2014. Since then, the company has been trying to adapt to Spanish legislation in order to relaunch its services in the country using VTC licenses.
As the company’s country manager put it a few months ago, “we tried to do too much and too fast”.
— Uber España (@Uber_ES) March 28, 2016
On Monday, Uber announced with a tweet and 25 second video that’s coming back to Madrid, possibly under a new and legal model that operates with VTC licenses, which are artificially, and stupidly, limited by Spanish law (there can only be 1 VTC license per 30 regular taxi licenses).
Cabify has been operating this way for years, which hasn’t stopped taxi drivers from complaining about “unfair competition” from the Spanish startup.
While Uber has not confirmed when it plans to launch in Madrid, I’ve heard from several people close to the company that they will fulfill their promise. In December 2015 Uber told El Pais that they would be back in the first quarter of 2016, which ends on Friday. That gives the company three days to relaunch in the Spanish capital.
Good news for consumers.