The ride-hailing service, Uber on Thursday announced it is shutting down one of the services, UberX in Greece. The announcement was made in the foreground of strict regulations on taxi service sector in Greece.
Local taxi drivers blame ride-hailing apps like Uber and TaxiBeat for eating up their business. This led to a three-year-long widespread protest in the nation. In the previous month, during a similar protest, the local drivers pelted stones on three Uber taxis.
The transportation network company, Uber marked its presence in Greece by launching UberX in Athens in 2015. UberX uses professional licensed drivers and chauffeurs licensed for tourism-related activities. The company’s other service called UberTAXI employs taxi drivers.
According to the new regulations, each trip should start and end in the fleet partner’s designated headquarters or parking area. It is quite difficult for Uber to operate on this principle. Additionally, a digital registry of all ride-sharing platforms and their passengers need to be created.
It is required for Uber to employ drivers associated with fleet partners such as car rental companies or tourist agencies for UberX. Also the Uber taxis could not be more than seven years old whereas the local taxi services can use cars that are up to 22 years old.
“New local regulations were voted on recently with provisions that impact ridesharing services. We have to assess if and how we can operate within this new framework and so will be suspending uberX in Athens from next Tuesday until we can find an appropriate solution. We hope to work with all local stakeholders to find a way to enable Greeks to enjoy the benefits of modern technologies like Uber”, mentioned in a post on Uber blog.
The other cab service, UberTaxi is still operational in Greece.
Headquartered in California, Uber operates in 65 nations comprising 600 cities. It is a global ride-hailing company that facilitates 15 million trips per day and more than 450,000 commuters across the world have checked-in to book the cabs.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is currently on a mission to consolidate the company’s multi-directional agendas and focus on the core markets. It has closed its cab-sharing services in China by selling to a bigger competitor, Didi, merged with Yandex in Russia and sold the Southeast Asian business to its rival company, Grab.
Uber is not an established taxi service company in Greece and it falls far behind the local competitor, TaxiBeat.