After going on a 2 day suspension, Uber has resumed operations in Vienna. The ridehailing firm was issued an injunction on the 26th of April, 2017 to suspend operations until “until it could ensure orders for rides were booked centrally rather than directly with a driver and that cars would have to be sent from company premises and return between rides” Reuters reported.
This was as a result of a law suit between Uber in Vienna and a local taxi firm Taxi 40100, one of the many taxi firms in Europe displeased with Uber’s mode of operation in the city. It is believed that Uber enjoys unfair advantages over other taxi companies and its process of engaging drivers are lax at best.
Uber’s many challenges in Europe and beyond
This isn’t the first time Uber will be facing sanctions or obstacles in various markets. In France for example, an anti-uber protest against Uber quickly escalated into guerrilla warfare with local taxis as some Uber drivers saw their cabs damaged or even set on fire. In 2016, Lisbon taxi drivers staged protests that resulted in traffic gridlock in the city. Local taxi operators were unhappy that rideshare companies like Uber were exempt from certain transport regulations.
In Austin, the issue of finger-printing drivers prompted Uber to halt its operations in Austin, Texas. Uber argued that requiring drivers to be fingerprinted as part of criminal background checks would hamper their seamless registration process.
New Management, New Strategy?
Sanctions and injunctions are not new to Uber. However, Uber in Vienna seemed to surmount this present hurdle in record time as the company resumed operations in the city just after 2 days. It seems Uber’s mode of operation under new CEO; Dara Khosrowshahi is open to dialogue with government and abiding by court regulations. The rideshare giant’s Austrian arm issued a statement saying “It is very important to us to do the right thing. That’s why we’ve worked hard over the last few days to adjust our processes.”
We hope this stance will be adopted not only in Europe but in other Uber markets around the world.
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