When I first heard about Uber, I was confident that this would be my ultimate taxi app, if it ever reached Finland and/or Estonia. After all, it was super easy to use, it would get me a good taxi exactly when and where I need it and best of all, I do not have to wait on the phone for 5 minutes.
Unfortunately, Uber did not turn out to be exactly what I hoped it would be. After all it is rather expensive and there is basically no choice in what driver/car you get. Not to take anything away from Uber, they have their niche market and they are doing very well. It was just not something I needed and the same went for a lot of the people I knew.
What I really wanted, though, was an app that would provide me with a choice of all taxies in the area, ranging in price, quality and distance to my pick-up point. However, there wasn’t one. Until now, that is.
Now Stockholm's transportation agency is identifying Uber drivers and denying them permits required for Uber's service, as well as stopping and fining Uber drivers on the street through the police. The transportation agency's explanation is that the permit for cars without a meter can only be given to companies that run members of the Swedish royal family, or senior managers in corporate positions. In Uber's terms, they've challenged the status quo, and now they're getting pushback.
Uber is now warming up its engines in Stockholm. The on-demand private car service has been building a lot of hype in Silicon Valley, where - judging from a few anecdotes - people enjoy talking about how they take Uber to places. The service is still in "Sssh... Secret Ubers only!" mode, which basically means they're still in the trial period and cannot really guarantee availability of rides. But I'm sure our Stockholm-based readers like to feel ahead of the curve so feel free to download the app and see if you can catch a ride.