At Uber we often talk about our vision: how transportation should be as reliable as running water and how anyone should be able to just push a button and get a ride. That vision has made Uber a ridesharing company which now operates in 6 continents and more than 450 cities worldwide.
Today we are letting people know that we will soon be pressing the pause button on UberPOP in the Finnish capital Helsinki, before we relaunch next summer.
We are very proud of the Uber city that Helsinki has become since we started operating here two and a half years ago. Thousands of riders use the app every day to help them get from A to B and hundreds of drivers have loved being able to earn money on their own terms. As Helsinki is an aviation hub between Asia and Europe, Uber has also been eagerly embraced by numerous visitors from all over the world.
In April the Finnish Parliament passed a new law which will open up the transportation market for new businesses, more diverse services and expanded consumer choice.
As the Parliament itself said, the Act on Transport Services will “significantly enhance the implementation of new technology, digitalisation and new business concepts”. Finland has taken the lead in Europe by introducing reforms which recognise that people want to access reliable transportation at the touch of a button. We hope this path will soon be followed by other countries too.
Unfortunately the new law will not be in place until July 2018.
While we are looking forward to the reforms coming into effect, we have decided it is best to pause UberPOP from 15th August until the new regulations allow a better environment. We want to ensure that we do not pose drivers who use our app or our employees any unnecessary issues – especially now that we have a bright future to look forward to. We believe that the best way to do so and focus on the future is to pause UberPOP and relaunch in the summer of 2018.
During the pause, and while we wait for the new law to come into effect, we know that there are hundreds of drivers who will unfortunately not be able to make money through the app. We are fully committed to supporting them throughout the waiting period and will help them transition to the new system as seamlessly as possible. We will share more details about these concrete actions over the next few months. As a company we will also continue co-operating with the authorities to solve any ongoing matters and support drivers who use our app.
Uber is not leaving Helsinki – the licensed UberBLACK will continue operating and Uber’s Finnish staff will stay with the company to help prepare for next year. The environment in which we will relaunch is going to be very different to the one we have now. As the reform will liberalise and modernise the whole transportation field we expect it to lead to the birth of many exciting new start-ups. We want to ensure we give it our best effort and offer Uber riders in Finland the best possible products we can. Right now we’re only operating in the Finnish capital, but once the new law is in place we want to look at all the possible options that will be open.
The whole Uber staff is already looking forward to rolling up our sleeves in order to provide access to affordable and reliable transportation to even more Finns.