Uber: Ban only in Delhi so far

The short history of its operations shows many of the issues that have triggered the ban in Delhi have cropped up elsewhere too.

By: Express News Service | Updated: December 9, 2014 7:39 pm
uber-ll Taxi drivers protest Uber services in Pennsylvania in Oct. (Source: AP photo)

Transport authorities said on Monday that no ban on Uber was being considered for now. “We are not thinking of reviewing rules under which radio cabs operate. If they are registered in Maharashtra, they must follow the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Department,” S B Sahastrabudhe, additional transport commissioner, said.

Uber, which launched this August, is yet to catch on. There was no indication on Monday that the government might ban the service.

Uber is popular among the tech crowd because cabs are available within five to 10 minutes of  booking. The Delhi incident has prompted the authorities to call a meeting of cab operators over safety. Police now want all cabs to
have a camera, and their drivers verified.
Uber’s services continue.

The short history of its operations shows many of the issues that have triggered the ban in Delhi have cropped up elsewhere too. Uber’s response has been typically combative — calling national laws “out of date”, and describing RBI’s insistence on a two-step payment authentication process “unnecessary and burdensome”.

NETHERLANDS, December 2014
A Dutch court ruled on Monday that Uber must stop working with drivers who do not have a taxi licence. The court in The Hague sided with the Dutch Ministry of Transportation that Uber’s ‘UberPop’ service violated the country’s taxi laws. Violation of the court’s order — which Uber said it would appeal — could attract a fine of up to 100,000 euros for the company and 10,000 euros for every violation by a driver.

UNITED STATES, November 2014
At a dinner in Manhattan, top Uber executive Emil Michael “outlined the notion of spending ‘a million dollars’ to hire four top opposition researchers and four journalists (to) help Uber fight back against the press — they’d look into ‘your personal lives, your families’, and give the media a taste of its own medicine”, online news media company BuzzFeed reported. The BuzzFeed article also said Uber had accessed personal Uber travel data of a BuzzFeed reporter.

CANADA, October 2014
The Globe and Mail reported that the city of Toronto had hired a former police officer to investigate what may be “real and urgent safety problems with Uber, including issues with insurance coverage, driver screening and vehicle inspections”. Vancouver and Calgary have already put temporary bans on Uber.

GERMANY, September 2014
On September 26, courts in Berlin and Hamburg upheld bans on Uber, saying the company did not comply with laws on the carriage of passengers. The Berlin court said there was no way of telling whether drivers using the ‘UberPop’ App were fit to take the responsibility of carrying passengers. The service, it said, did not meet legal requirements for taxis, and fell between regulations for taxi and rental car services. The Berlin and Hamburg rulings went against a previous reprieve given to Uber by a Frankfurt court.

AUSTRALIA, April-May 2014
Regulatory questions were raised in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, insisting that Uber abide by all transport laws, and regarding authorisation and accreditation of drivers. Australian governments have fined Uber drivers and Queensland cabbies have issued appeals to the public to not use them.

BELGIUM, April 2014
On April 15, a Brussels court banned Uber, saying its fleet lacked licences to operate in the city, and warned drivers they would be fined 10,000 euros if caught violating the ban. “They (Uber) do not comply with rules, are not registered, their drivers don’t have a regular licence, and do not follow the rules that conventional taxis have to follow…,” a government spokesperson said.

In June, tens of thousands of taxi drivers protested in London, Madrid, Berlin and Paris to pressure regulators to apply tougher rules to rein in unlicensed Uber cabbies. Italian taxi drivers struck work and marched in Milan in March, damaging Uber cars and plastering walls with posters that called the company ‘thieves’. In January, protests in Paris turned violent.
compiled from reports by the AP, REUTERS and THE NEW YORK TIMES

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