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Uber upbeat about government decree

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San Francisco-based ridesharing company Uber is still evaluating the latest government decree impacting their drivers here, but they “are encouraged by the commitment of the Ministry of National Development to not create a barrier to innovative solutions,” Uber told the Budapest Business Journal today.

The government issued a decree on Friday stipulating that Uber drivers must be licensed taxi drivers. The service operates on a “sharing economy” model, under which its drivers sign up to work through the Uber smartphone app, but they are supposed to be self-employed. The government decree, passed after local taxi drivers protested against Uber drivers undercutting their prices, could be construed as making Uber more responsible for those who use the app.

Nonetheless, Uber expressed optimism that a workable solution will be reached.

“We have been overwhelmed by the publicʼs support for Uber, and weʼre committed to working with the government to create regulation that is fit for the mobile and internet age,” the statement sent to the BBJ says. “One million trips are made every day by people using Uber in more than 300 cities around the world, and already 40,000 Hungarians have chosen Uber as  a safer, more affordable way to get around Budapest.”

The statement also said that the service ultimately helps the local economy: “Ridesharing platforms, such as Uber, have the potential to create over 2,000 new economic opportunities, generate tax revenues for the state and allow tens of thousands of people in Budapest better access to their city.”

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