NEW YORK (TheStreet) - If you haven't tried Uber yet, it's clear that the mobile app ride-sharing service is looking to come to a city near you, if it hasn't already - and in the process making traditional taxi service irrelevant.
Instead of hailing a cab, registered users simply use Uber's mobile app - via their Apple (AAPL) iPhones, Android devices or Windows phones - to request a pickup location. Since registered users already have their credit card information saved in Uber's app, there's no need for cash and receipts are emailed. Uber has several options: a low-cost ride-sharing option,uberX, luxury sedans and seating for groups under UberBLACK and UberSUV as well as uberTAXI, which connects users to a taxi at metered rates.
Founded just five years ago, the San Francisco-based company is already in 205 cities in 45 countries, with the company expanding into 24 markets just last week. The company says it has millions of users, but would not provide an exact number to TheStreet. However, Uber is up against strong resistance from taxi drivers in various cities across the world who have been in an uproar at the disruptive company, mainly for not being beholden to stringent regulations that other taxi drivers are required to follow. A number of cities, from Seattle to London have held protests against the company.
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On Tuesday, following a lawsuit that was filed by Taxi Deutschland, a German court in Frankfurt temporarily banned two of Uber's three services in the country -- Uber and UberPOP, its ridesharing option in Europe. Unlike UberBlack, the first two services do not require the use of registered drivers, according to Fortune.
"Uber will carefully review the content of the preliminary decision of the Frankfurt Regional Court, and will appeal this decision and vigorously defend the claim that has been filed by Taxi Deutschland," Uber responded in a blog post on Tuesday. In the meantime, "Uber will continue its operations - and will continue to offer its services via its app - throughout Germany."
Last week Illinois Governor Pat Quinn vetoed legislation, House Bill 4075, dubbed the "Uber bill" and a related measure under House Bill 5331 that would have imposed statewide regulations on commercial ridesharing and preventing local governments from adopting rules to fit their communities. "I am vetoing this legislation because it would have mandated a one-size-fits-all approach to a service that is best regulated at the local level," Gov. Quinn said in an Aug. 25 statement.
Uber, which raised $1.2 billion in June at a pre-money valuation of $17 billion, is also experimenting with other delivery services like messenger services through UberRUSH in New York City, a ridesharing option, UberPool, that's in beta testing in San Francisco; the Uber Corner Store launched in Washington D.C. last month, and, from Aug. 26 through Sept. 5, it is experimenting with UberFresh delivery service in Santa Monica, Calif. Investors in Uber include Goldman Sachs (GS) and Google (GOOGL) , through Google Ventures.
The company sees itself as a technology company not a transportation company. "We assess a number of factors before entering a market, including existing regulations and user demand. If the laws haven't conceived of Uber's model, we'll reach out to policymakers about the significant demand in their city and educate them on this new paradigm," Uber spokeswoman Natalia Montalvo wrote in an email to TheStreet on Tuesday.
Here's five U.S. cities making it harder for Uber to do business.
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