Italian courts have ruled in favor of the taxi industries making it illegal for the UBER app to operate in Italy.
If you’re traveling in Italy at the moment and want to use the popular ridesharing app UBER, you literally may have only days left to legally use it properly. According to Reuters on their report on the international issue earlier today (Apr. 7,2017), a court ruling has successfully blocked the use of the smartphone app UBER citing that the app created an unfair competition among its taxi industry. This, unfortunately, includes their UBER Black, Lux, Suv, X, XL, Select and Van apps as well.
This news comes after several days of striking on numerous occasions from the taxi industry as well as lobbying by major taxi associations forced the hands of Italian courts to rule in favor of traditional taxi services. Taxi drivers in Italy complained that UBER has an easier time licensing its drivers whereas individual drivers must pay their own fees out of pocket. In addition, traditional taxi drivers work off a fixed wage. UBER is commonly known to increase rates based on the need for a particular location, thus wages were never really fixed.
Most Italians generally welcome any new form of transportation option and are in favor of greater choice whether it be a taxi or a ride-sharing app option. Suffice to say, many Italians are upset that they simply can’t call up an UBER when they need to because of a court ruling they had no control over.
UBER says they are overall shocked with the Italian court’s decision and will appeal within the approved time period.
This isn’t new news to some cities around the world who have voted to ban UBER completely. The city of Austin, Texas infamously banned UBER /Lyft drivers from operating in their cities because of the lack of fingerprinting and background checks for new drivers. Since then, numerous other apps which fall into the line of new regulations have popped up.
The fight against Ride sharing apps and traditional taxis has dramatically decreased the profitability of taxi companies the world over. Although traditional taxi companies may fight on, it’s a losing battle over time. Sooner or later the entire transportation industry may be automated. Even apps like UBER may go the way of the DoDo once automation rises to the level that human intervention is not needed.
For now, taxi companies may have pull but in the foreseeable future, that pull may be diminishing.