This morning, I received an e-mail from Uber that, due to new legislation in Greece, they are suspending service in Greece.
Uber Suspends Service in Greece Due to New Legislation
Up to this point (from the introduction of Uber in Greece in 2015), Uber has only operated in Athens. Like many other locations around the world, Uber was met with great frustration from taxi drivers.
Uber has operated UberX and UberTAXI in Athens and they will be suspending that service on April 9 at 11:59PM. They have hopes that they can bring it back online again and, in the meantime, UberTAXI will continue to be used.
New Legislation Makes It Difficult for UberX to Operate
The new legislation requires that each trip starts and ends at the headquarters or parking area of the partner. Obviously, with something like Uber, that is not practical at all or even possible without a headquarters or parking area. In fact, I would think that this would be even difficult for traditional taxis unless the legislation allows an exemption in some way for them (or they classify any pickup spot for traditional taxis as a “parking area.”)
Uber’s E-Mail and Statement
Here is the e-mail that Uber had sent out about the situation:
“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.”
With the prime tourist season about to start in Greece, not having access to UberX anymore in Athens is going to be a problem for many tourists, I am sure. Athens is an extremely difficult city to drive in if you are not used to their traffic and taxis can be somewhat problematic at times (for a variety of reasons). Uber was a nice alternative but that will not be available now until Uber finds a way to work within the new legislation terms.
Featured image courtesy MAHATHIR MOHD YASIN / Shutterstock.com