Reuters/Lucy Nicholson – RTX1KG30
Ride-hailing service Uber [UBER.UL] aims to launch its UberX service, which uses licensed professional drivers, in the German capital Berlin after failing to find enough drivers in some of the country’s other cities, Uber’s Germany chief Christian Freese told a newspaper.
“We are planning to start UberX in Berlin in June,” weekly Welt am Sonntag quoted Freese as saying in an interview published on Sunday.
A German court last year banned San Francisco-based Uber from running services using unlicensed cab drivers and set stiff fines for any violations of local transport laws by the pioneering online taxi firm.
The venture capital-backed company in Germany has since limited itself to drivers that hold a passenger transport license, among other legal requirements, through its UberX and UberBlack smartphone apps.
But it has run into a shortage of drivers and currently operates UberX only in Munich, having shut it down in other German cities including Frankfurt and Hamburg.
In the long run, Freese said he also wanted to bring UberPool to Germany, a service in which several customers share one Uber vehicle to cut down on their share of the fare. But for the moment, such a service would be in breach of German passenger transport rules.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan)