The European Union has officially declared what most of us have understood all along: Uber EU is a transportation business. Thus it should be subjected to the same regulations as other transportation businesses. This one is an old battle that Uber has been fighting in various countries. Uber always defended itself by saying it’s not a genuine taxi service. Instead, it’s an app that acts an intermediary between drivers and customers looking for rides.
The E.U. highest court issued a statement which read: “The service provided by Uber EU connecting individuals with non-professional drivers is covered by services in the field of transport. Member States can, therefore, regulate the conditions for providing that service.”
The ruling by the European court may have ramifications beyond ride hailing and car sharing. In the so-called gig economy, there are lots of app-based companies like Airbnb that bend the current rules of traditional business. The decision could make them subject to closer scrutiny from regulators. Critics said the EU court’s decision will now force it to comply with national regulations that it has previously been able to ignore. The decision came only a day after Uber EU was accused in court in London of becoming a menace to public safety by forcing its drivers to work exhausting hours.
Meanwhile, in Barcelona, where the Uber case originated, people will keep raising their hands to hail the ubiquitous yellow and black taxis. That’s the locals’ preferred method, though apps also exist. The modern world is multifaceted, and there’s no single transportation model that works for every city. The one thing the ECJ ruling doesn’t do, though, is grant cities a license to cramp competition. It establishes a level playing field, not a protectionist environment. The danger is that some overeager administrators and regulators will purposely misunderstand that.
2017 just isn’t Uber’s year. The company doesn’t have much to show for itself, other than a slew of scandals. This is also a BIG opportunity for the traditional taxi industry to revamp and take back the market leader position. By leveraging the taxi dispatching system with the QUp Chauffeur Drive Platform, not only can they own a non-Uber market, but also they are on the way of obtaining a new sector which Uber EU has achieved for years now. Our innovative travel management solution would let each travel operator outperform the competition, stay ahead and even expand globally.
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