Uber Just Made a Big Concession to Moscow’s Transport Authorities

The Uber logo is displayed on the window of a vehicle
The Uber Technologies Inc. logo is displayed on the window of a vehicle after dropping off a passenger at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Uber Technologies Inc. investors are betting the five-year-old car-booking app is more valuable than Twitter Inc. and Hertz Global Holdings Inc. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Andrew Harrer — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Uber has given in to the demands of Moscow’s transport authorities, which wanted the company to stick to drivers with proper cab licenses.

The Russian capital’s transport department was last month making noises about seeking a ban on the U.S. quasi-taxi service if it did not stop using amateur drivers, and hand over data on its routes to the authorities.

Now, according to a statement on the Moscow government website, Uber has caved in on both counts. The head of the transport department, Maxim Liksutov, said the move would make Uber safer for Muscovites.

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Meanwhile (according to an English-language translation by the Moscow Times), Uber’s local chief said the firm’s “interests coincide with the interests of the transport department and of Muscovites.”

Dmitry Izmailov said Uber was now part of Moscow’s urban transport infrastructure, and the company was pleased its “cooperation with the department is expanding.”

The data shared with the department won’t be of the sort that could help track individual journeys — rather, it will be aggregated data that should help the authorities determine what part Uber plays in Moscow’s traffic.

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The department has already concluded similar agreements with Uber’s rivals, such as Yandex.Taxi (the transportation arm of Russia’s big answer to Google).

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