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Rio de Janeiro bans Uber as worldwide protests continue

Taxis are seen parked on the street during a protest against the online car-sharing service Uber in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Rio de Janeiro bans Uber as worldwide protests continue

The host city for the 2016 Olympic Games has banned the use of Uber and similar technologies from operating in the city.

The ban, passed into legislation Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes on Tuesday, comes after protests by taxi drivers in other major cities around the world over the existence of Uber, which they see as a threat to their livelihoods.

“Uber is forbidden,” Paes said after signing the bill. “We are open to discuss the matter, but it is forbidden.”

Uber drivers who ignore the ban can be slapped with fines of almost $500.

“It is a sad day for Rio,” Uber said in a statement.

“To please taxi owners in the city, Mayor Paes sanctioned a completely unconstitutional bill to ban technology from the city, leaving cariocas (Rio residents) with less options to move around.”

The company is said to be investigating legal avenues.

Brazil’s biggest city, Sao Paulo’s, also passed legislation banning Uber this month.

Haddad told the Globo network he wanted to find “a middle path” to address the issue.

There have also been protests by taxi drivers in Paris and Toronto among other cities.

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