From Iceland — Uber May Start Operations In Iceland As Soon As This Winter, If Company Is Interested

Uber May Start Operations In Iceland As Soon As This Winter, If Company Is Interested

Published October 8, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Grapevine Archives

Despite having no indications that the ride-share service is even interested in operating in Iceland, Minister of Transportation Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson is leading a new bill in Parliament that would allow Uber to begin working in Iceland as early as this winter, Vísir reports.

The bill follows on the heels of a legal decision which determined that Iceland’s current laws, which limit the number of professional driver permits, is not in harmony with European Economic Area law. At the same time, this new bill would put strict conditions on Uber to provide ride sharing in Iceland, including issues regarding driver permits and safety.

The idea is not universally received, however. Ásgeir Þorsteinsson, the director of the Association of Icelandic Taxi Drivers, has previously told reporters that there is no need for Uber in Iceland on account of the preponderance of taxis in the country.

Much like Uber drivers, Icelandic taxi drivers are also independent contractors. While some are unionised, they are legally permitted to work outside of a union.

Most interestingly, not even the Minister of Transportation is aware if Uber even has any interest in operating in Iceland. If they are, and this bill passes, they could begin operations here as early as this winter. The law would, however, place responsibilities on Uber drivers which are effectively the same as existing laws for taxi drivers, raising further questions about the need for the ride-share service.

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