American ride-hailing giant Uber announced this week it will relaunch operations in Israel five years after a court blocked the company's activity in Israel.
Unlike in other countries, Uber would work with licensed taxi drivers only in Israel.
Israel's powerful union of taxi drivers managed to impose this condition on the company as it prepares to embark on its foray into the local market.
The other reason behind this local peculiarity is that Israeli authorities have prohibited individuals from taking passengers in their vehicles for fear of terrorist acts.
“Today we are opening a new page in Israel in cooperation with taxis, which can and should be an alternative to travel by private vehicle. We will provide travelers with world-class service and offer them very attractive prices,” said Gony Noy, the new general manager of Uber Israel.
The company said that it is also committed to ensuring that drivers earn a good living by exempting them from any commissions listed on the Uber app, unlike well-established ride-hailing apps which levy annual commissions on their drivers.
Initially, Uber services will only be available in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as for trips to the airport.
Thousands of drivers have already been hired by the company to meet demand.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.