After several months during which Uber attempted to break into the Israeli market, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled that the discounted transportation company must terminate its services in Israel under its current format. Uber’s response: “The taxi service will continue as usual.”
Uber to discontinue services in Israel Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
The Tel Aviv District Court issued a permanent injunction yesterday morning (Monday) prohibiting Uber from operating in Israel. Pursuant to the order, given with the company’s consent, Uber will be permitted to continue its normal taxi services however, its discounted transportation services – uberDay and uberNight – will be prohibited under its current format. The injunction will take effect on Wednesday at 10:00 am.
The hearing over which the District Court President, Judge Eitan Orenstein, presided dealt with the petition filed by transportation company Gett and the Israeli Taxi Drivers Union against the expansion of Uber’s services, which operates within hundreds of cities around the globe and transports millions of passengers at much lower rates than ordinary cab fares. Up until the court’s ruling, Uber continued operating its services despite the disapproval of the Israeli Transportation Ministry, which claims that the discounted transportation service company is breaking the law.
“As long as there is no insurance coverage for these trips, I don’t see the feasibility of these trips,” said Judge Orenstein during the hearing. “I must guarantee the public’s safety. I won’t allow you to drive even one meter without insurance.” In mid-January, the Israeli Transportation Ministry’s trial against Uber will begin, demanding the immediate cessation of the company’s activity in Israel and that a fine be imposed for criminal activity.
In response to the court ruling, Uber stated: “We’re terminating the uberDAY/uberNIGHT pilot service, but the taxi service will continue as usual. We’re committed to continued cooperation with the authorities, to examine how technology can provide reliable, cost-effective and safe transportation solutions.”