Uber Ends POP Service for Helsinki

Credit: @uber_finland Instagram

Uber is calling a halt to most of its operations in Helsinki from today.

The company says that after two and a half years, its UberPOP service will take a break until 2018.

In a series of blog posts, the company said it’s hoping that new legislation introduced to parliament this past April, will allow them to operate more freely when it comes into force.

The new laws expand the number of taxi licenses that are issued in Finland, and make it easier to obtain one. But that won’t happen until July 2018, so Uber has decided to suspend its service for the time being.

“As the Parliament itself stated, the new Traffic Services Act ‘significantly contributes to the introduction of new technologies, digitalisation and new business concepts'” Uber noted.

Since Uber launched in Finland, it has faced an uphill struggle to operate within the confines of Finland’s strict taxi laws, and faced stiff opposition from legacy taxi companies who don’t welcome the unlicensed competition.

Some drivers have had to pay thousands of euros over their Uber earnings to the government after being caught by authorities.

“We want to ensure that we do not pose drivers who use our app or our employees any unnecessary issues” Uber wrote in a recent statement, adding that they plan to help any current Uber drivers transition to new arrangements next year.

Uber says that they had “thousands of passengers” using their app-based service every day in Helsinki, and that “hundreds of drivers have been looking forward to making money by being their own boss”.

While the company’s POP service is having a pause, it’s licensed Uber BLACK car service will operate as usual in the capital region.