Ride-sharing services such as Uber face opposition from regulators and transportation rivals across the U.S. and in other countries.
"I believe that we should find a way for Uber to operate legally here. It's a valid part of the new sharing economy that Portland embraces."
Uber said Dec. 18 that it will suspend its service in Portland, OR, for three months so that city regulators can work out regulations for ride sharing. The city will allow Uber to resume services after the three-month moratorium. The city had sued Uber Dec. 8, three days after it launched in the city.
The French government on Jan. 1 will ban UberPop, the company's lower-end service that uses private, unlicensed drivers. The decision, announced Dec. 15, is part of the government's plan to "avoid unfair competition" in the taxi industry.
Copyright 2014 Reuters
The ban announcement came as French taxi drivers protested Uber, saying the company's services are illegal and have inadequate insurance, thereby putting passengers at risk. Uber claimed it was "part of the solution, not part of the problem," and said it would continue to work with French policymakers.
The decision to ban UberPop in France came just three days after a French court decided against banning the service. That decision followed a week in which Uber was targeted by regulators in Belgium, India, Spain, the Netherlands, Thailand, California, and Oregon.
Uber this month was ordered to stop operating in India, the Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, and Oregon for using unlicensed drivers with some of its services. Prosecutors in California also sued the company, alleging it does not conduct adequate background checks on drivers.
Uber was banned in India's capital of Delhi on Dec. 8 after a female passenger accused a driver of rape. The driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, was arrested Dec. 7. He was previously arrested in a rape case in 2011 and spent seven months in jail before being acquitted in 2012.
Uber's primary argument is that it is not a traditional transportation company, and therefore is not subject to regulations governing the transportation industry. Rather, Uber says it merely provides a platform that links private, independent drivers (who are not Uber employees) with passengers.
Uber was forced to temporarily suspend its operations in Nevada late Nov. 26 after a court there issued an injunction barring the company from operating in the state. Nevada is the first U.S. state to issue such an injunction against the company.
The lower prices that Uber and Lyft can offer passengers are having a negative impact on the value of medallions, the system that many U.S. cities use to limit the number of taxis. Prices for a medallion have fallen some 17% in cities like New York and Chicago as drivers opt to use Uber or Lyft.