A Frankfurt court that had banned Uber ride service from operating within Germany late last month has lifted the ban: Uber is back in business in Germany.
Uber is mobile app based ride sharing service that offers an easy way to hail a driver – all transactions are handled by credit card, no tipping, and the price often comes out cheaper than with a normal cab. I used Uber to get around London last weekend and had very good, prompt, clean, and reasonable service each time.
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Taxi cabin unions are understandably up in arms over this, as the growing incidence of Uber worldwide threatens to jeopardize their ability to enjoy entrenched monopolies that currently place value and service at a distinct disequilibrium. And yes, I do believe it is that simple.
Because Uber drivers are free-lance, insurance requirements are lower and they can be selective about which riders they pick up. The German court ruled this was unfair competition, but has lifted the ban on technical grounds, saying the taxi cabin union waited too long to file its claim. Under German law, it had two months from the time Uber began operating to file the complaint and it waited five months instead.
It is still unclear whether Uber’s legal troubles in Germany are behind it, as the taxi union has vowed to appeal, but for now Uber can operate again without fear of heavy fines.
“Uber stands for a particularly extreme form of wage dumping, which refuses to allow for any minimum wage,” Dieter Schlenker, Taxi Deutschland’s chairman, said in a statement. “We hope that politicians will steer the taxi clearly into the future and won’t let the U.S.A. firms put any ideas in their heads.”
I see, this is all a big conspriacy by the USA…what quatsch.
Here’s my mesasge to Herr Schlenker: we had four Uber drivers in London over the weekend and all four came from foreign lands to seek a better life in London. One was from India, another from Iran, another from Sri Lanka, and the fourth from Sudan. We asked them point-blank how they do each month and all said that while they were not flowing in cash, all earned enough to meet their expenses, send money overseas, and still manage to add money to the bank.
Uber gives a customers a clean, easy, and cheaper option to hail a ride and its workers are not living in poverty. This is progress and having been ripped off by so many cabbies in my lifetime, I am a huge supporter of this company.
Uber is not a taxi service. Rather, it is a transportation network company (as coined first in California) that does not employ pepole nor keep automobiles. Some may prefer the “safety” of a taxi (depsite Uber’s own high insruance standards), but for the cost-savings and convience, Uber makes a lot more sense to me.
The end goal here is not that Uber be succesful or put coventional taxis out of business, but that it forces taxi companies to adapt to 2014 and force government regulators to loosen some of the burdensome restrictions that make riding in a taxi cab so expensive, if that is really the case and not a smoke-screen to avoid competition.
Good news for Germany and price-concious consumers.