The European woes of Uber doesn’t seem to halt, with Uber now being forced to retreat from three German cities namely Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf, due to the shortage of licensed drivers to power its operations.It will now be available only in Berlin and Munich in Germany. This surprising result comes following a 9-month-old Frankfurt court ruling which had made it mandatory for Uber drivers to get same licenses like normal taxi drivers.
Uber tried to ensure its drivers to help them in getting licenses and permits by promising to pay the €100 to €200 for the license, as well as the €150 to €200 fee for a permit from the country’s Chamber of Commerce.
But the scheme did not work out which has now led Uber to withdraw its operations from the cities. It will now be available only in Berlin and Munich in Germany.
Uber’s Christian Freese, GM for Germany, said –
We’ve found the requirements, even for licensed services, to be very complex. Uber is increasingly popular in Munich and Berlin so we have decided to focus our efforts there and suspend our operations in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Hamburg.
However, he added that that they are committed to expanding their services in Germany, and would therefore continue the engagement and dialogue with politicians and regulators.
Further adding to the statement, Freeze said –
Plenty of people in Germany want to press a button on their phone and get a safe, affordable ride with Uber. We know this will be disappointing for riders and our partner drivers in those three cities, so we are looking at how we can support them.
Germany is not the first European country to have objected to Uber operations as France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands have banned UberPop service which relies on non-professional drivers.
France witnessed a nationwide strike by country’s taxi drivers against Uber after which two Uber executives were arrested whereas judges in Milan and Spain also ordered the discontinuation of Uber Italy and Spain respectively, citing the service as unfair competition and against the country’s laws.