Uber suspends private driver service in Finland

Updated 2017-07-07 10:23:29 Xinhua

The transport service provider Uber is suspending its UberPOP operations in Finland, the local branch of the company announced on Thursday.

Joel Jarvinen, the country manager of Uber in Finland, said in a press release that the company has decided to await new Finnish legislation that takes effect in July 2018.

Meanwhile, UberBLACK, available to licenced taxi drivers, will continue without interruption.

Uber began its operations in Finland two and a half years ago. It has been plagued with confrontations with the Finnish taxi cab legislation.

Last autumn, the Helsinki appeals court sentenced two Uber drivers to pay fines for offering taxi services without a licence. They were also asked to pay the government the revenue obtained through their work.

The cases are still pending after appeals were submitted to the Finnish Supreme Court.

Jarvinen noted in his blog that they want to make sure the drivers using the application and the employees of Uber "will not be susceptible to unneccesary nuisances" - particularly as a brighter future is ahead.

Last week, the Helsinki district court ordered some personal property of the country director to be confiscated. He is being suspected of "giving assistance to offering taxi services without licence", local media reported.

The Uber application has been downloaded in Finland some 150,000 times. Business daily Kauppalehti gave the number of drivers as "several hundread".

Uber has been available in the capital area only. It noted in the release on Thursday that expansions to other Finnish cities could be considered in 2018.

The new Finnish legislation on taxies liberalizes the system, but during the parliamentary process controls of the taxi driver permits were added, reflecting the concerns of the Finns Party.

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