Uber will “pause” its main service in Finland as it waits for local regulators to remove taxi licence permit quotas and fare restrictions.
The San Francisco headquartered company announced in a blog post on Thursday that it will suspend its UberPop service in Helsinki, the only Finnish city that it operates in, until next year.
UberPop allows any driver to sign up and offer unlicensed taxi trips providing their car meets certain criteria. But Finnish law dictates that all Uber drivers have a licence. As a result, UberPop has proved problematic in Helsinki.
A number of drivers in Helsinki have signed up to become UberPop drivers without holding a valid permit. Some of those that have been caught have been ordered to give up their earnings, with one driver ordered to hand over €12,000 (£10,500) by the Helsinki District Court.
“We want to ensure that we do not pose drivers who use our app or our employees any unnecessary issues, especially now that we have a bright future to look forward to. We believe that the best way to do so and focus on the future is to pause UberPop and relaunch in the summer of 2018,” said Joel Järvinen, Uber’s country manager for Finland in the blog post.
“While we are looking forward to the reforms coming into effect, we have decided it is best to pause UberPop from 15 August until the new regulations allow a better environment,” Järvinen added.
UberBlack, the premium Uber service, will continue operating in the city as it requires drivers to have a licence before they can sign up.
Uber is facing regulatory battles around the world, with licensed taxi drivers arguing that the venture capital backed company is massively undercutting the services they provide and breaking local transportation laws in the process. The app has been banned in cities like Berlin, Germany, and protested against in the likes of London and Paris.