California based online transportation network company Uber wants to take on Slovenia before the end of the year, the company's general manager for Southast Europe David Tremac said on September 6, Slovenian Press Agency (STA) reported.
Uber’s arrival in Southeast European countries intensifies competition among taxi operators throughout the region, even though it has faced numerous legal obstacles.
"We came to Croatia almost ten months ago and one of our next steps is Slovenia," Tremac said on the sidelines of the Bled Strategic Forum.
STA reported that even though Tremac did not mention any specific dates, he expresed the hope that before the end of the year Ljubljana will become one of the 500 cities where Uber operates.
According to Tremac it is hard to estimate how many drivers and partners Uber could attract in Ljubljana.
Tremac said that Uber aims to bring the company's UberX service, which is popular in Europe, to Slovenia. The service offers users low-cost rides in non-luxury cars.
"Our aim is to collaborate with the capital and the country in developing the digital and cooperative economy," he added.
Uber was founded in San Francisco in 2009. It operates in over 60 countries worldwide, including 21 EU member states.
Elsewhere in Southeast Europe, Uber has been operating in Romania for more than a year despite a bill adopted in May last year forbidding the delivery of transportation services without holding a license.
Uber has also run into controversy in Bulgaria since it launched in the capital Sofia in December 2014. Last July, the Council for Protection of Competition (CPC) decided that Uber was engaging in unfair competition by offering unregulated taxi services and should halt immediately. The competition watchdog said the app could only resume operations when it complied with Bulgarian legislation, and imposed fines totalling BGN200,000 (€102,200) on the Dutch-registered companies Uber and Rasier Operations. A lengthy court battle is expected.
The company announced on July 13 that it was quitting Hungary, after the government forced through legislation to shut it down. Budapest has suffered months of protest by traditional taxi drivers over the ride-sharing service. The ruling Fidesz party – already under pressure due to demonstrations from teachers – remembers that taxi drivers forced the government to back down in 1990.
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