Uber Technologies Inc. is limiting its ride-sharing service in Berlin and Dusseldorf to mainly operate on weekends as it struggles with legal challenges that have forced it to cut prices.
UberPop services, which let clients get rides with private cars, will largely be available between 6 p.m. on Fridays and 6 p.m. on Sundays in the two cities, a representative for the company in Germany said by phone. He declined to say how Uber would control the availability of drivers.
Uber, seeking to accelerate its push beyond the U.S., has met with opposition from taxi organizations and authorities in Germany. Uber in recent weeks has cut fares in Berlin, Dusseldorf and Hamburg to 35 euro cents (43 cents) per kilometer from 1.60 euros to dodge a rule that only licensed drivers may transport passengers for profit.
“As a consequence we won’t be able to grow as quickly as growing demand would dictate,” Uber said in an e-mail today to users living in Berlin.
German authorities in some cities have issued bans on the service, saying the company’s drivers need to fulfill licensing requirements if they want to operate a for-profit transportation business. San Francisco-based Uber, which also operates in Frankfurt and Munich, is appealing the decisions.
In Germany, Uber also offers the UberBlack limousine service and the new UberTaxi platform, which lets customers find regular taxis.
Uber raised money at a $17 billion valuation in June. Its backers include Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Google Ventures.
To contact the reporter on this story: Cornelius Rahn in Berlin at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ville Heiskanen at email@example.com Robert Valpuesta.