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Uber celebrates one year in Budapest

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San Francisco-based ridesharing application Uber celebrates the first anniversary of its operations in Budapest, Hungary today, according to an announcement from the company.

Within one year, the number of Uber users in Budapest has exceeded 60,000 and is continually on the rise, the announcement said.

As a gift to users, Uber offered free rides between noon and 1:00 pm today for the first 200 users that entered the special promotional code.

Uber’s first year in Budapest, however, has not come without its share of obstacles much like in other countryʼs in which Uber operates. Taxi drivers have been strong opponents to the service and it has been a continuous challenge to meet the requirements of evolving legislation.

Following a demonstration involving hundreds of Hungarian taxi drivers on June 17 in downtown Budapest, in opposition to Uberʼs Hungarian operations,  Hungaryʼs Economy Minister Mihály Varga ordered the National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) to launch a probe of Uber drives in the country. Commenting on the proceedings, international launcher Rob Khazzam gave an interview to the Budapest Business Journal, in which he vouched for the legality of the company.

The Hungarian government in June approved a decree that requires local Uber drivers to become licensed taxi drivers. Uber’s Hungarian Operations Manager Zoltán Fekete said in August that Uber continues to offer its services in Budapest despite a new decree designating Uber as a taxi company. 

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