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Europe Considers Hitching a Ride with Uber

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Clearing the road ahead for Uber?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Ride-sharing service Uber has stirred up the Germany taxi industry, but the E.U. Transport Commissioner may prove to be a useful ally.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Taxi unions and companies have strongly opposed competition from Uber.
    • A German court banned the UberPop app countrywide in March; the only cars that can provide rides for Uber in Germany are licensed taxi cabs.
    • E.U. Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc is considering legislation to allow the service to operate across Europe.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The U.S. app Uber is giving taxi services across the globe a run for their money – and has met with fierce regulatory resistance in Germany, France and other E.U. countries. Now, the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, is examining whether to liberalize taxi and chauffeur services market across the European Union.

Uber offers rides from regular drivers in unmarked cars to users based on a smartphone application. Its business model is different as opposition in Germany, and cases brought by taxi lobbies, forced Uber to work only with licensed taxi cabs.

Germany’s latest restriction came last month when a Frankfurt court had banned the UberPop ride-sharing service for not complying with industry requirements such as drivers who hold special licenses.

German Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt sees no reason to ease the strict regulation of taxi services in the country; no changes to the law are planned, according to a statement from his ministry.

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