Genoa puts the brakes on Uber with driver fine

A driver in Genoa has been fined €1,700 and had his car seized after using the chauffeur car service Uber and offering someone a lift without a taxi driving licence.

Genoa puts the brakes on Uber with driver fine
The Uber smartphone app launched in Genoa a week ago. Photo: Uber

In addition to the fine, the driver’s licence was suspended and his car seized after being pulled over by authorities on Wednesday evening, Tgcom24 reported.

The driver had used the smartphone app, which helps users locate nearby drivers, to pick up a client in the city.

But the service is at odds with Italian law, which says people chauffeuring paying customers must have a taxi licence or risk a fine of up to €7,045, having their car confiscated and licence taken away for up to a year. 

But Benedetta Arese Lucini, Uber's general manager, said it was “difficult to comprehend” why the driver had been sanctioned.

“We have obviously assisted the driver in his appeal. I am, above all, most sorry that this was aimed at a person who was actively contributing to improving the city,” she was quoted as saying.

Having arrived in Genoa just a week ago, Uber is a topic under discussion at city hall.

“The city of Genoa is putting forward a legal analysis to decide how to deal with Uber” while working alongside taxi drivers, councillor Elena Fiorini said.

The mobile app has already made its debut in Rome, where taxi drivers have hit back with their own version of the smartphone service.

The it Taxi app was launched earlier this month in the Italian capital and across the country, having been created by the national taxi drivers’ union (URI, Unione Radiotaxi Italiani).

READ MORE: Italian taxi drivers launch app to rival Uber

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