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Minister Risikko: Provision of Uber rides is legal, but driving requires taxi licence

Minister Risikko: Provision of Uber rides is legal, but driving requires taxi licence

Press release 06.03.2015 09.58 fi sv en

According to Minister of Transport and Local Government Paula Risikko, the provision of rides by the US company Uber is permitted. However, a taxi licence is required for driving Uber rides.

- The American Uber is not a taxi company but a ride dispatch service. The provision of transport dispatch services is legal business activity in Finland, but offering fares without a taxi licence and the professional qualifications of a taxi driver is illegal, Risikko emphasises in her response to a written question by Member of Parliament Mikko Alatalo.

The question was concerned with, among other issues, how the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Ministry of Finance are going to intervene in Uber's operations and could the company be altogether prohibited in Finland. Risikko responded to Alatalo's question on 4 March.

According to the Finnish act on taxi transportation, persons may only be transported in passenger cars for the purpose of earning a livelihood only if the transportation company is in possession of a taxi licence and the driver has a professional taxi-driver's licence. Without the fulfilment of these terms, one may transport passengers only in exceptions stated by the law, such as in the contexts of home help services or museum vehicles.

The supervision of transportation is a responsibility of the police and the final interpretation of the law is a matter for the court of law. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has no authority to intervene with legal offences by individual motorists.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has provided information to Uber about the current Finnish legislation on taxi transportation and has highlighted the requirement for taxi licences and the responsibility of the entrepreneur. The ministry has not been informed about cases regarding Uber drivers that would have resulted in a police investigation.

The act on taxi transportation includes certain statutes on taxi dispatch centres, but no licence is needed to operate one. According to the view of the ministry, the digital dispatch service provided by Uber cannot be considered as a dispatch centre as stated in the act on taxi transportation and is thus not subject to the said regulations of the act on taxi transportation.

Further Information
Mr Mikael Nyberg, Director of Unit, tel. +358 29 534 2474