Colombian government declares motorcycle taxi start-up Picap illegal, founders push back

Don’t worry, we’re talking about:
Spanish (Spanish), too much!

Contxto – Colombian motorcycle taxi app Picap ends up in hot water after the Colombian Ministry of Transportation says it is an illegal service.

However, last Saturday Camilo Rodríguez, co-founder of Picap, said they were dealing with the necessary insurance policies for drivers and passengers. The founder claims this is not an illegal service.

He insists that the accident rate is quite low – out of 3 million trips, only three or four resulted in serious accidents and eight were slightly injured.

The Uber of motorcycles

Picap is a Colombian application that allows users to request a motorcycle sharing service through their mobile phone.

Dissatisfied with the country’s transport system (let alone traffic jams), Picap offers an alternative for users to get from point A to point B faster and easier. Over time, it has become a more affordable alternative. at Uber and Cabify.

Without a doubt, Picap has enjoyed remarkable success. Today, the app has more than 40,000 registered drivers, 500,000 downloads from Google Play and offers around 30,000 daily trips in several Colombian cities. These include Bogotá, Medellín, Bucaramanga, Neiva, Villavicencio, Cartagena, Popayán e Ibagué.

Last October, the company announced its intention to expand into the Mexican market.

Motorcycle riders also earn up to 180,000 Colombian pesos – about US $ 57 – a day while offering rides still 30% cheaper than other calling services like Uber.

What better definition of success than having both happy customers and suppliers in the same transaction, right?

Well maybe comply with the law would also be a good thing.

Legal issue

Mintransporte, Colombia’s transport ministry, recently said it would take legal and legal action against the motorcycle taxi company. The reason? Well, apparently motorcycles are not legitimate vehicles for riding a bicycle.

Camilo Rodriguez, co-founder of Picap, assures us that the company is a better alternative to current transport models because it is more affordable and efficient. The founder claims that motorcycle taxis existed in Colombia long before – Picap has just arrived to formalize the service.

This argument does not seem to satisfy the Deputy Ministry of Transport, Juan Camilo Ostos, who believes that motorcycles are extremely dangerous and dangerous for car journeys. According to the official, around 3,200 people die and 40,000 more are injured each year due to motorcycle accidents.

In 2018 alone, the government organization also imposed more than 15,000 fines on Picap customers.

To discourage people from using Picap, the government official urged people to use public transport services instead. Finally, he said the company provides dangerous services and does not compete fairly with those who pay taxes.

Final thoughts

Once again, legislation lags behind entrepreneurship. Picap has found a market opportunity and a solution to a problem, but certainly has some work to be done. It will be interesting to see how the company responds to government demands in order to be a legal business operation.

It is still unclear what kind of changes Picap needs to make. Still, one thing is for sure – we’re curious to see how it goes.


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