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Changes To Avoid A Ban In Germany Will Be Made, Says Uber

Changes To Avoid A Ban In Germany Will Be Made, Says Uber
Following the observation of a German court that some of the business processes of the ride hailing company Uber did not respect local law, the US based firm has said that it will make the necessary changes so that it can avoid being banned from the German market.
The business process followed by the company in Germany is to link passengers to private hire vehicle and taxi firms through its app instead of independent drivers as it does in other markets.
However, a complaint that some of the processes followed by Uber broke Germany's rules on passenger transport was brought in by the trade body Taxi Deutschland.
It would continue to carry out its operations in Germany while the changes are implemented by it, Uber said.
The Uber app connects passengers with independent drivers who decide to participate for the app and allow the app to show their intention of offering rides in their cars kin most of the markets where the company operates. 
In some markets such as in the United Kingdom, Uber requires that the drivers be insured and could also require the drivers to have licenses to offer rides to the public in a few markets. .
In Germany, the company connected riders with unlicensed drivers through its app called UberPop.
However, after a complaint from Taxi Deutschland, the app service was banned in the country on the orders of a German court in 2015. And since then, Uber had changed its business structure and struck contracts with licensed private hire vehicle companies in Germany. Therefore users of the app are notified about availability of cars for hire form those private hire vehicle companies and passengers are ferried by a driver from a traditional private hire firm.
However the latest complaint by Taxi Deutschland accused Uber of some business practices in violation of the Passenger Transportation Act of German which was implemented in the 1980s.
According to German laws, after completing a trip, private hire drivers must return back to their company's base if the drivers to not have any other immediate journey soon after. This means that drivers are barred from driving around or parking their vehicles somewhere while awaiting a new ride hire request to come in.
According to the court complaint, not enough had been done by Uber to make sure that the private hire companies it worked with respected this rule.
The law also says that private hire jobs must be accepted by the business, rather than the individual driver. Following this law means that when the Uber app is used by a passenger in Germany, nearby drivers are located by the company and then it is mandated to send the booking request to the dispatch office of the driver. The ride request then has to be accepted by the private taxi hiring company and then sent to the driver by it via a human dispatch operator. The process cannot be automated.
The complaint also alleged that this rule had also been flouted by Uber.
"We will assess the court's ruling and determine next steps to ensure our service in Germany continues. Working with licensed private hire vehicle operators and their professional drivers, we are committed to being a true partner to German cities for the long term," Uber said in a statement.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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