STOCKHOLM Nov 30 Sweden proposed rule changes
for its taxi sector on Wednesday that may help ride-hailing
services like Uber Technologies in the long term, but
also recommended that profit-making ride-sharing should be
A government-appointed commission said that Sweden should
allow taxis to do away with expensive meters, making it easier
for drivers to use their own cars - a development that has
helped firms like Uber undercut traditional services in other
Uber, which has faced setbacks in other parts of Europe,
already offers taxi services in Sweden, but has to comply with
the same regulations as other market players.
The commission's proposals would, however, only allow use of
unmetered cars if they are pre-booked and connected to a booking
hub, which needs to collect data for tax authorities to use.
It also recommended that profit-making ride-sharing
services, like UberPOP - recently suspended in Sweden - should
"This confirms that ride-sharing is different from driving
other people at a charge," Sweden's infrastructure minster Anna
Johansson told a press conference.
Sweden, which deregulated its taxi sector almost three
decades ago, decided last year to look at how to adapt its taxi
and ride-sharing regulations.
Uber, which launched in Europe five years ago, has faced
fierce opposition from regular taxi companies and some local
authorities who fear it creates unfair competition because it is
not bound by strict local licensing and safety rules.
Supporters however say rigid regulatory obligations protect
incumbents and hinder digital startups which offer looser
arrangements to workers looking for more flexibility, albeit
without basic rights.
Uber is currently seeking to convince Europe's top court
that it is a digital service, not a transport company, in a case
that could determine whether app-based startups should be exempt
from strict laws meant for regular companies.
It has been forced to suspend its UberPOP service, which
relies on non-professional drivers using their own vehicles, in
Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)