Uber's Low-Cost UberPop Service Banned In Germany

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
uber s low cost uberpop service banned in germany

Uber users living in or visiting Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Munich or Frankfurt, Germany may be waiting a while for a low-cost ride: A court ruling has banned the San Francisco-based transportation network company’s UberPop from operating within the entire nation.

The New York Times blog Bits reports a district court in Frankfort placed a temporary injunction on the service last week, with fines of $330,000 or jail time hanging over Uber and its local employees should they be found in violation; its drivers would not be directly affected by penalties.

The injunction is the result of a complaint filed by trade group Taxi Deutschland, who made the complaint under allegations that the TNC violated the German Passenger Transport Act by not having properly licensed and insured drivers, being selective in who the drivers pick up, and unfairly upending the local taxi industry overall.

However, the ruling cannot be directly enforced by the court, requiring Taxi Deutschland to file separate complaints for every perceived violation of the injunction prior to the court sending authorities to act on the charges. Uber is aware of this, as a representative for the company explained to the BBC:

Germany is one of the fastest growing markets for Uber in Europe. You cannot put the brakes on progress. Uber will continue its operations and will offer UberPop ridesharing services via its app throughout Germany.

Uber plans to appeal the injunction. Meanwhile, UberBlack drivers and passengers are unaffected by the ruling, and the UberPop app is still functioning in all of the TNC’s German cities as of this writing.

Join the conversation
  • Signal11 Signal11 on Sep 03, 2014

    Disruptive pricing models is good. OTOH, trying to take the place of public transportation infrastructure while doing an end run around the rules is not. Uber should be subject to the same amount of insurance requirements and definitely should be subject to carrier rules. If they want to do the same job of a taxi service, there are some bare minimal rules they should abide by, such as not being allowed to pick and choose fares.

    • Stuki Stuki on Sep 03, 2014

      In free societies, drivers are free to decide who they choose to give lifts too. And passengers who they ride with. In non free ones, drivers are told who to pick up. And passengers forced to ride in the back of police cars. Because "it's the law." And "it applies to everyone equally."