Just came across an article in a German internet news portal. The headline claims that Uber won’t ignore official rulings anymore. That is an interesting statement. It makes it clear that Uber thought in the past it is above all and everybody. And it leads to another thought: At least here in Germany they had to stop the bullying and behave. I really appreciate that the German cities have started to take a stand and show the Überflieger that the same rules apply to everybody. The Germany manager of Uber, Christian Freese sounds now like the wolf who ate chalk. He even claims that Uber is trying to cooperate with the traditional taxi firms.
UberBlack has been prohibited in Berlin, and UberPop has been prohibited Germany-wide.
And while we talk about it: Berlin has taken a stance and is reclaiming rental space from AirBnB and similar companies. But more on the friends-rent-to-friends companies in a different post.
Some links to recent Uber articles:
Many say that the sharing economy creates many opportunities for everybody. Everybody can make a lot of money, and it can be earned on the side. An Uber driver can earn more money than a taxi driver. So I was told by a taxi driver in Berlin who was very angry that he cannot driver for Uber in Germany.
Not sure if it’s true. My Columbian friend told a slightly different story. Translating his thoughts sounded more like he has to drive a few of hours every day to get into positive numbers. There’s gas, loan payments for the car, insurance – well, not sure if he actually pays insurance or if he cheats? Some sources indicate that Uber isn’t really that diligent on checking if their drivers are all insured. Actually – it’s not their drivers anyway. They do not enjoy employment status by any means from what I understand. So if my young Columbian buddy gets sick, he’s definitely not covered by Uber.
Tom Slee’s (see below) book gives us some insight into the financial conditions under which drivers operate. Even if there’s some drivers that earn average middle-class incomes, most of them appear to earn less than the employed taxi drivers after deducting all the cost. And the insurance and social security situation looks rather grim.
I had a lot more questions. Being used to a system where taxi drivers have to pass a test (how shabby this test might actually be) I was wondering if Uber drivers need anything like that. But it appears that those regulatory tests are not needed, according to this blog.