Uber proudly announced that it signed an agreement with Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, to launch a pilot program for its ridesharing service.
The 536,000 inhabitants of the Baltic capital will get a bonus in transportation flexibility, but other European countries seem to have mixed feelings about the American car hailing app.
In Germany, Uber withdrew from three major cities after the regulators urged the company to file in complex paperwork. Now, Uber officially abandoned Düsseldorf (593,000), Frankfurt (687,000) and Hamburg (1.7 million), leaving almost 3 million people Uberless. The company stated that it expects to see disappointment from drivers and partners in the three urban areas.
Almost nine months ago, a judicial verdict in Frankfurt obliged Uber drivers to get licenses identical to those of standard cab drivers. A previous ruling decision allowed Uber to function across Germany was denied by the Frankfurt judge.
Uber urged users to keep using the app and promised that the company will pay for the government imposed licenses.
According to a report in WirtschaftsWoche, a German business newspaper, Uber was ready to pay between $110 and $220 for the license, and $165 to $220 for the Chamber of Commerce's legal permit. The German authorities disagreed with the companies' plan and now the only places where the car hailing app is still operational are Munich and Berlin.
Uber hopes that the setback will end soon.
"Plenty of people in Germany want to press a button on their phone and get a safe, affordable ride with Uber," Christian Freese, Uber's general manager for Germany, said.
Uber underlined that its strong commitment to Germans will come to fruition by having an elaborate and efficient dialogue with the German authorities, allowing to more users in the country to enjoy the car sharing service.
Germany is not the first country from the Old Continent that restricts Uber activity. France saw the arrest of two Uber managers in the aftermath of a national strike of cab drivers. An Italian judge rated Uber as "unfair competition" and outlawed the service in the country. Spain made clear that Uber steps outside the countries' regulations for transport and the company put a halt on its activity there.