Uber is one of the most popular ride sharing apps around the world. But in some countries and cities, the service has been challenged by regulations and lots of protests from taxi drivers. In 2017, several countries have banned the service or the company has decided to leave over regulations and fines. Here are some countries and cities where the service has been banned or suspended:
In July, Uber announced that it would suspend its unlicensed service in Finland. The ride sharing company decided to suspend its UberPOP service there before a law came into effect next year. The General Manager of Uber in Finland Joel Jarvinen said in a blog post that UberPOP had been paused but that there would be a relaunch in the summer of 2018.
Earlier this year, the ride sharing company suspended its service there after a threat of massive fines. Taiwanese authorities had increased the maximum possible penalty for Uber drivers a month before the suspension. The ride sharing service did return to Taiwan two months later. The return wasn’t all good news though as it was only able to operate again after partnering with licensed rental car companies.
In July 2016, Uber decided to exit Hungary due to a government legislation that made it impossible for the service to operate there. In June, Hungary’s parliament passed a legislation to slow down Uber. The legislation came after months of protests by taxi drivers, who were demanding for the service to be stopped as its drivers were not following the rules that taxi drivers have to follow.
Rob Khazzam, Uber’s General Manager in Central Europe, said that it wasn’t a ban but a forced suspension after they were left with no other option.
Uber arrived to Bulgaria in 2014 but the service was shut down by the Supreme Court less than two years after its debut there. The arrival of the service sparked protests from taxi drivers. In March 2015, taxi drivers warned that they would block roads if authorities did not take action against Uber. Taxi unions claimed the service was taking its passengers and causing financial loss. Uber suspended operations but launched a petition, which received the support of more than 20,000 people. Uber drivers and users protested after the service was stopped but the decision left the ride sharing service with no options.
In July 2015, the UberPOP service was suspended in France as a safety measure, according to the company. The suspension came just a month after the Interior Minister ordered a ban on the service. The service had sparked protests across the country and Uber said the suspension was announced primarily to assure the safety of Uber drivers. Nearly a year after the suspension, a court in Paris sanctioned the company for UberPOP’s operations between 2014 and 2015. The fine was for $900,000 and two executives were also fined.
The ride sharing company had its service suspended in the Philippines nearly three months ago. The suspension was only for one month but the company had to pay nearly $10 million in penalties. The operations were suspended after the ride sharing service was caught violating an order to stop accepting new driver applications. Uber had previously offered to pay for the penalty but the amount ended up being a lot more.
Uber was shocked to hear back in April that a Rome court had banned the service for being unfair competition. The company was given ten days from the date of the court decision to shut down its services. The decision came after numerous protests by taxi drivers. Uber said that it would appeal the decision and the following month, a court in Rome reversed the temporary ban.
Transport for London (TfL) said back in September that Uber’s license to operate there would not be renewed. The decision came after a four month extension that allowed the service to continue operating in London. The license expired at the end of September but Uber has met with TfL and even apologized for mistakes made. The ride sharing company recently appealed the decision and is allowed to operate there until a decision is announced.
US (Alaska and Austin, Texas)
Uber made its debut in Alaska in 2014 but things didn’t go well for the service there after battling with the state’s labor department. The company would end up paying a fine and leaving the market. Ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft returned to the market in June.
Something similar happened in Austin, Texas when Uber and Lyft decided to suspend operations in 2016. The decision came after a proposition did not receive enough support. The two companies resumed operations in the city after a law ended the fingerprint rule.
Uber announced in March that it would suspend its service in Denmark over a law that requires cars to have fare meters and seat sensors. In August, the country fined four drivers for being involved in more than 7,000 illegal trips.
Uber decided to pause its UberPOP service last month because the service is illegal in the country and authorities were taking action against its drivers.
In May 2016, Uber suspended its UberPOP service in two cities in Sweden. The issues began over the service accepting drivers without taxi licenses. Authorities began going after drivers and Uber was forced to suspend its service there.