Stricter Regulations Force Uber Out of Greece
Uber is exiting one more country. The ride-sharing service announced on Thursday that it's suspending its licensed service in Greece following new legislation, which will impose stricter regulations in the market. Uber will exit the Greek market effective Tuesday, April 10.
"New local regulations were voted on recently with provisions that impact ridesharing services," Uber said in a blog post. "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."
Uber launched its operations in Greece in 2015, with UberX. Since then, it's continued operations only in the capital city of Athens — both UberX, which uses professional licensed drivers, and UberTAXI, which uses taxi drivers. UberX drivers must be employed by fleet partners, such as tourism agencies or rental companies, and cars cannot be more than seven years old.
As reported by Reuters, the new regulations that Uber's opposed to require each trip to start and end in the fleet partner's designated headquarters or parking area, which it does not currently do. With the new regulations, a digital registration of all ride-sharing platforms and their passengers will be created.
"Uber remains committed to Greece and we will continue to offer UberTAXI in Athens," Uber said. "Over the coming days we will do everything we can to support the partners and drivers who have relied on our app over the past few years."
While the new regulations limit Uber and other ride-sharing services like Beat, they do not apply to taxi drivers. Those drivers will not be included in the registry, their cars can be up to 22 years old and are not required to pick up and drop off in designated areas.
The move on the part of the Greek government comes after strong opposition from local taxi drivers, who accuse the ride-sharing company of taking their business.
This isn't the first time in recent months Uber has succumbed to regulations or competition. In March, Uber officially gave up operations in Southeast Asia to its rival Grab.