Uber is forced to suspend its UberX service in Athens (Greece) effective April 10, 2018, while it tries to figure out how to work within the new legislative framework enacted.
These uberX drivers have been professionally licensed but seems that traditional cab companies were able to get the politicians ear to get the legislation passed that makes ride hailing services very difficult to operate.
Here’s the post that Uber made on its blog (access here):
Starting from a simple idea, getting around with a simple touch of a button, Uber has become a global app that facilitates 15 million trips per day in more than 600 cities across 65 countries.
Since launching in Greece in 2015, uberX has become one of Athens’ most popular options to move safely around the city. More than 450,000 locals and tourists from around the world have booked rides through our app.
However, new local regulations were voted on recently with provisions that impact ridesharing services. We have to assess if and how we can operate within this new framework and so will be suspending uberX in Athens from next Tuesday until we can find an appropriate solution. We hope to work with all local stakeholders to find a way to enable Greeks to enjoy the benefits of modern technologies like Uber.
Uber remains committed to Greece and we will continue to offer uberTAXI in Athens. Over the coming days we will do everything we can to support the partners and drivers who have relied on our app over the past few years.
And here’s an excerpt from Reuters what is going on (access their piece here):
Uber operates two services in Athens: UberX, which uses professional licensed drivers, and UberTAXI, which uses taxi drivers.
The new regulations require each trip to start and end in the fleet partner’s designated headquarters or parking area, something Uber does not do. A digital registry of all ride-sharing platforms and their passengers will also be created.
UberX drivers have to be employed by fleet partners such as car rental companies or tourist agencies and their cars could not be more than seven years old.
The data registry and return-to-garage requirement will only apply to ride-hailing services like Uber and Beat, while taxi drivers will be able to use cars that are up to 22 years old.
Cannot really see the reason for this legislative change than to protect regular cabs that are on their way out anyway. These uberX drivers were professionally licensed and worked for the fleet partners or car rental companies.
The losers here are basically consumers that must pay higher fares for inferior service. Let’s hope that Uber can figure out a way to bring back the service to Athens.