UberPOP service in Norway has come to a halt. By the end of this month, Uber will stop offering its UberPOP service in Oslo.
UberPOP allows unlicensed drivers to offer lifts to Uber customers. This service is different from UberX, which allows only licensed drivers to offer rides to the customers. The service is being suspended over a legality issue in Norway. According to Uber, this is a temporary suspension until Norway introduces new taxi laws, which are due to come into effect next summer. However, Uber’s licensed services, such as UberBlack and UberXXL, will continue operations as usual.
This move adds to the number of cities where Uber service has been suspended due to similar reasons. The suspension is already enforced on Uber in Finland, Denmark and Sweden, as well as some European cities like Paris and Brussels. Uber’s operating license in London will not be renewed either.
“We’ve learned the hard way that we must change as a company in order to serve the millions of riders and drivers who rely on us,” the company said in a statement. “With our new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi onboard, it’s a new era for Uber.”
As this is an unlicensed service, the repercussions faced by the drivers in Norway could be serious, which would lead them to lose their driver’s licenses and even their cars.
The Norwegian Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen said Uber was being treated as any other market participant would be. “All actors offering taxi services must conform to rules and regulation at any time,” he said.
“Norway deserves modernized laws that encourage innovation and competition without sacrificing what makes the Norwegian model special,” Uber said. “We hope the government will implement these recommendations soon, so that we can re-launch a new and improved version of the product loved by so many.”
Khosrowshahi took over leadership of Uber in August after former CEO Travis Kalanick was asked to step down. Since his takeover Khosrowshahi has promised to take Uber out of the storm it is in right now. Considering all the legal battles and controversies that have kept Uber in the news for all the wrong reasons throughout the year, Khosrowshahi is trying to use a mellow tone in his dealings. Recently, he issued an open apology to Londoners after the city refused to extend Uber’s operating license.