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Uber can be banned in Moscow if no contract is signed with mayor's office

February 03, 14:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
App-based taxi services such as Uber have to tell the transport department of all vehicle moves across the city
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© Marina Lystseva/TASS

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Low-price taxi service Uber is expected to sign a deal with Moscow authorities in a month allowing vehicles to work city streets, transport department chief Maxim Liksutov told Govorit Moskva (Moscow Speaking) radio station on Wednesday.

"I think the agreement will be signed in a month," Liksutov said, not specifying details. ‘If not, we have to contact the police and ban Uber."

App-based taxi services such as Uber have to tell the transport department of all vehicle moves across the city. Similar services such as GetTaxi and Yandex have already signed local deals.

"Uber was ready to sign such an agreement before the end of 2015," Liksutov said. "Then they, referring to their corporate procedures, asked us to extend this period to the end of January."

Uber-Russia's press office said: "We are working on an agreement and have come up with a final version which suits both parties."

‘We had some delays as we needed to coordinate all the issues inside the company but we actively cooperate with the transport department," Uber representative Yevgenia Shipova said, adding that the service works with regulatory bodies in each city, including Moscow. The company had no impression that Moscow wanted to ban Uber from operating in the city, she said.

City authorities, alleging that Uber’s use of drivers not licensed to drive taxicabs was unsafe and illegal, have been in negotiation with the company for months. In August, federal antimonopoly service FAS began checking the online services of Uber, seeking to specify procedures of cooperation with taxi parks and procedures for paying the drivers. This followed a number of court cases in Europe connected with the taxi service's work.

In October, FAS said no evidence was found to ban the service in Russia.

The number of Uber users in Russia is "tens of thousands", the company says.

Russia's taxi market turnover was estimated at $9 billion in 2015. With the popularization of app-services growing, turnover is expected to reach $15-20 billion within three to four years.

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