Uber Technologies, the company behind a smartphone ride-hailing application that has offended taxi services from all over the world, has now moved to disregard a Berlin ban – which could attract serious penalties every time it gives a ride there.
The German capital’s senate banned the smartphone app from transporting clients in the city, threatening with a 25,000-euro ($33,000) fine for each and every customer offered a ride.
“The service is continuing,” said Fabien Nestmann, a company spokesman, adding that Uber will oppose the interdiction “as soon as possible. We’re disappointed and think this prohibition order is the wrong approach.”
“Protecting passengers is the priority,” said an official statement. “The basic idea of protecting the taxi business has also been applied.”
The city’s lawmakers issued the ban because they consider Uber’s business model a safety hazard, considering that passengers riding in Uber’s cars are not insured for accidents. The company’s representative argues the Pop service does have insurance that covers all occupants of the vehicle in case of a crash. The app based company – and others like it – seem ready to shake up the traditional taxi practice – although many cab drivers have started protesting against them, because their licenses can cost as much as 200,000 euros a piece.