Uber has been banned in Berlin (update: all of Germany)

From this morning's Metro paper I learn that Uber has been banned in Berlin on passenger safety grounds, as the drivers provided by Uber are "unvetted, unlicensed" and threatened Uber with a €25,000 fine.

Uber is under threat in many cities around the world including San Francisco and London.

I just mention it so that people considering using the app know of potential problems.

Posted by Marco
Oxford, United Kingdom
2253 posts

This isn't yet in force. Uber can object and have its day in court. The city has also cited “protection of the taxi industry” as part of its reasoning. Kontrollwahn.

Posted by Bets
3358 posts

And this is why the French taxi drivers, who pass written exams and pay high fees for their licenses, went on strike.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7736 posts

Before anyone sheds tears for the "underdog" Uber. Be aware that they aren't some tiny firm with a few programmers in a small office. They have billions of dollars in backing from firms like Lehman Brothers, who are wining and dining politicians all around the world. If I were a taxi driver who had take exams, pay taxes, and licenses fees; I'd be pissed and go out on strike as well. Either make Uber play by the same rules and regulation or get rid of them for everyone.

Posted by Gretchen
Seattle, WA, US
100 posts

If Uber is dealing with Lehman Brothers they have a time machine in their fleet in addition to their black SUVs.

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
1398 posts

Keith, I've never actually been a European citizen ... but it seems odd to have both a Welfare State and individual "shared" entrepreneurship at the same time. There are good reasons besides driver income that taxis are heavily regulated in cities all over the world.

At this point, Europeans say that the tax and benefit structure is preventing employers from hiring new people. But in Germany, forced, imposted, directed, "job-sharing" (reducing everyone's hours to keep full employment) was a big factor in Germany's relative prosperity. On the other hand, punishing, Puritan-punitive "austerity" pushed by the, er, Lords, of England have caused vast amounts of pain, and the opposite of "gain". Do you really want to institutionalize subsistence-level entrepreneurship? Sounds like they've pulled the wool (barrister's wigs) over your eyes.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

I was always curious as to how anyone knows they aren't getting into a car with a whacko/ax murderer or...

they are trying to get into PDX now and can work in Washington.

happy trails.

Posted by Marco
Oxford, United Kingdom
2253 posts

The rules don't necessarily cover this situation, because they were drawn up before the technology and method of working were available. Mind you countries similarly rely on written constitutions which require reinterpretation as times change.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
13893 posts


a bit of an issue with black cabs?

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5690 posts

Which country has a welfare state? What is a European Citizen? Tim, please do not lump all of the countries together under some kind of general blanket statement when they all have very individual labor laws, etc.

The labor laws in Germany are ridiculous. They harm more workers than help.

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
2881 posts


Although I don't share Keith's hatred for "Europe", London taxi drivers are not very popular with general society - they are notorious for extremely selfish and aggressive driving, are very expensive, and tend to act like French lorry drivers and deliberately block roads if any political decision upsets them.

Still not as annoying as the rickshaws, though.

Posted by Wonderful
616 posts

next thing there will be an app to find your local drug dealer...would you all complain then? Why because drugs are illegal or the app is fulling the illegality? Uber is fueling the illegality .
We have to have some sort of common effort here. Official taxi drivers earn money, they in turn pay taxes and health insurance. That helps the economy. That is the trouble with black markets they never help the country.

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
1398 posts

Keith: "Fog In Channel; Continent Cut Off"

Today's New York Times, another Lefty newspaper notes,

Find a Job. Do it. Repeat
Cobbling together a day’s work in the
sharing economy of services like Uber
and TaskRabbit offers freedom but no
guarantee of a living wage. [Business Section]

Good luck with your app, Keith.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
13893 posts

I've just read that Uber has been banned in all of Germany, from yesterday. Uber's somewhat classic response is that they will ignore the ban.