Uber’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, in an attempt to hit the reset button on the Travis Kalanick era, is hoping to move the ridesharing company away from its aggressive and scandal-prone reputation.
As part of that effort, the ride-hailing firm has announced news of its intention to “pause” its UberPop service in Norway on October 30 so that the company can await a regulator clarification that would allow Uber to operate with greater legal clarity. The only service that will remain in Oslo, Norway, following UberPop’s exit, will be its licensed UberBLACK and uberXL services.
There are, according to Uber, 280,000 users in Oslo — along with “hundreds” of drivers. UberPop has faced difficulty in Europe in recent moths, as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy and Sweden have all gone as far as to ban the P2P inexpensive ridesharing version of Uber.
“We want to act as a responsible company that cares about all of its users, and we especially want to limit any issues that drivers may encounter on the road,” Uber wrote of its choice to hit pause on UberPop.
“Since UberPop launched in Oslo three years ago, there has been a lack of clarity about new platforms like Uber and how they fit into the existing Norwegian model. We acknowledge the importance of these questions. That’s why we’re engaging in a constructive dialogue with policymakers across the political spectrum to find a solution that works for all Norwegians.”
Uber drivers in Oslo have faced police crackdowns, and Uber has threatened to pull out of Norway over the summer. And while the ride-hailing company is now making good on that threat, it’s doing so in as nice a way as possible — likely hoping that Norway’s lawmakers will change local regulations in its favor.
“Norway deserves modernized laws that encourage innovation and competition without sacrificing what makes the Norwegian model special,” Uber wrote. “This is already happening elsewhere: Finland recently passed progressive reforms, and we chose to pause UberPop in Helsinki in order to relaunch when the new law comes into effect in 2018. Here in Norway, we’re encouraged by the recommendations from the ESA, the competition authority and the government’s own sharing economy committee. The government parties, Høyre and Fremskrittspartiet, have stated in their party programs that change needs to happen in the transport sector.”