What’s in a ban? Uber is waving off the threatened 25,000-euro fine for each time it transports a customer in Berlin proper. The reason behind the ban? Berlin’s state senate cited safety concerns. They argue that the passengers are not insured, and that amounts to a safety risk.
Uber is promising to challenge the ban, and is keeping the service running in the meantime. The company has already taken out additional insurance policies to insure all the passengers in the vehicle. The Berlin state senate will have to find another regulation to hide behind as it fights for Berlin cabbies.
Right now, Uber operates in the German cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt. Cologne and Stuttgart are next on the expansion list in Germany.
In Hamburg, authorities tried to ban Uber, saying that transporting people without a license is illegal. Enforcement was quickly suspended as a court order wanted more time to look at the issue. Uber continues to operate in the port city as the courts examine the issue.
Uber, like Lyft, is disrupting the transportation market. Regulations are antiquated when dealing with a massive disruptive force. And Uber, backed with plenty of cash, isn’t afraid to flaunt local regulations in their expansion plans.
The strategy of establishing first and asking for forgiveness later is paying off for the company as its value increases by the day.