Uber back in business in Berlin after judge suspends ban

19 Aug 2014

The Uber app, depicted ride requested and driver arriving

The presiding judge of the Berlin Administrative Court today has suspended a ban on Uber’s mobile ride-sharing app ‘until further notice’.

The suspension means Uber remains ‘banned’, but the ban will not be enforced until the court rules on the legality of the ban, TechCrunch reported.

Four days ago, Uber had said it would challenge a ban imposed on its app in Berlin by the city’s State Department of Civil and Regulatory Affairs due to concerns for passenger safety.

Uber may now continue its business in Berlin and the judge’s move follows a similar suspension granted recently in Hamburg, Germany.

Fabien Nestmann, general manager at Uber in Germany, has welcomed the suspension.

“This is good news for the great people of Berlin and the thousands of German citizens already benefitting from Uber’s great services. We’re delighted to continue to bring our fresh and new ride-sharing service UberPOP plus our licensed limo service, UberBlack to Berlin and other cities in Germany, as we challenge the old policies that were written before the smartphone was even invented,” he said.

“Uber’s No 1 priority is safety and we would like to underline that every driver on the Uber platform is insured.”

The Berlin authority had said that unlike traditional taxis, Uber’s insurance might not cover passengers using the service.

Uber began operating in Berlin in February 2013. Its app enables smartphone users to obtain a ride from taxis, private cars and ride-sharing services.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic