Uber is one of the world’s most popular apps, but it’s not without controversy. In the UK, a tribunal ruled just last month that the company
should treat two drivers as workers and pay them the minimum wage and holiday pay. This is just one of many legal battles, regulatory disagreements and driver strikes that have taken place across the globe, and more than one country has outright banned the leading taxi app.
Here is a comprehensive list of all of the places you won’t be able to order an Uber on your next trip away.
Uber suspended services after being accused of “unfair trade practices”. The chairperson of the transport committee, Grozdan Karadzhov said that if Uber wants to return to the Bulgarian market, it will have to meet the minimum requirements of legislation and register as a taxi service.
Taxi metres have been made mandatory for Danish taxi drivers, meaning Uber was forced to pull out of the market this year after operating there since 2014.
Uber will soon be completely banned from the country, after its business practices were found to “constitute unfair competition”. Uber’s services have been blocked, and it is not allowed to advertise. The company is permitted to continue operating until a final court ruling is made, but that time will soon run out.
The Hungarian government passed legislation saying that Uber drivers “breach[ed] regulations other taxi firms must adhere to” after allowing them to operate for two and a half years. The new law permits the Hungarian national communications authority to block internet access to “illegal dispatcher services”.
Uber has also faced suspensions in Finland, France, Spain and the Netherlands, primarily over its UberPOP service. Barcelona’s main taxi operator accused the company of running an illegal taxi service and is currently awaiting a ruling from the European Court of Justice.
The company pulled operations from the Texas city after being told to fingerprint and background check all prospective and current drivers, which it said did nothing to improve safety and penalised minorities.
Uber operated for six months in the state, before pulling out over a dispute as to whether drivers were independent contractors or registered taxi drivers – which would mean they are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance. Uber paid a $77,925 (£60,000) fine to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development over the dispute, before abandoning the Alaskan market. New legislation could change that, but for now the state remains Uber-less.
Uber also faced a huge backlash in the US following Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, when drivers didn’t adhere to a taxi strike in New York City aimed to show solidarity to those affected. #DeleteUber trended worldwide, and hundreds of users deleted the app. Its main competitor, Lyft, capitalised on this boycott by donating $1m (£775,000) to the American Civil Liberties Union and issuing a statement condemning the Muslim ban.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Ride share apps are not legal in Vancouver. The Liberal Party has promised that if it wins in the elections taking place in May, it will move forward with legalisation and make Uber possible in the city by Christmas. Transport Minister Todd Stone said: “We think we are striking a balance between what the vast majority of British Columbians want…all the while…respect[ing] the industry that’s been there for so many generations and get this right to protect the jobs that already exist.”
The company was losing huge amounts of money in the Chinese market, and it was bought out by Chinese competitor Didi Chuxing after allegedly losing billions of dollars.
Services were suspended after Uber faced millions of dollars’ worth of fines by the government. However, it has reached an agreement to use rental car agencies on the ground under the Uber brand, but the service remains limited.
The territory has completely banned Uber after refusing to change the law to accommodate the app’s legality. It will allegedly re-evaluate this at a later date but, for now, Uber remains out in the cold.