Uber Back Online In Berlin And Hamburg After Court Suspends Earlier Ban

Four days after being banned in Berlin by local taxi regulators on safety grounds, Uber is back on track in both that city and Hamburg. The company just released a statement confirming the news after the presiding judge of the Berlin Administrative Court today suspended the regulator’s ban on Uber “until further notice”. The ruling said Uber can continue its business in Berlin and follows a similar suspension granted recently in the city of Hamburg.

Fabien Nestmann, GM for Germany said in a statement:

“This is good news for the great people of Berlin and the thousands of German citizens already benefitting from Uber’s great services. We’re delighted to continue to bring our fresh and new ride-sharing service UberPOP plus our licensed limo service, UberBlack to Berlin and other cities in Germany, as we challenge the old policies that were written before the smartphone was even invented. Uber’s number one priority is safety and we would like to underline that every driver on the Uber platform is insured. Today’s news supports freedom of choice and progress, as Uber seeks to bring better, safer and cheaper transport options to everyone.”

Last Thursday Berlin officials said the U.S. company, which operates in over 150 cities around the world, was not doing enough to protect its passengers from unlicensed drivers and had also failed to provide adequate insurance for its drivers or their passengers in accidents. Thus, they said it was in breach of the Public Transport Act.

Uber appealed the ban, saying the Senate’s decision was “anything but progressive,” and it was “seeking to limit consumer choice for all the wrong reasons.” Uber says it does not operate a taxi service.

The Berlin ban followed Europe-wide protests by taxi drivers over the last few months, most notably in London which was brought to a stand-still after Black Cab drivers protested against the firm.

Update: Technically speaking, Uber remains ‘banned’, but the ban will not enforced until the court rules on the legality of the ban. Thus it can operate in Berlin while the matter is still being ruled on.