Journalists check Uber Shuttle. Drivers have no proper driving category, while the service has no license

Uber Shuttle service has been operating in Kyiv since May 2019. This is shared transportation in comfortable buses at a price of 15 to 30 UAH per trip. You can reserve a place online and pay by card.

The presentation of the service was attended by the mayor of the city Vitali Klitschko and former Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan. They promised that the parties would resolve any and all regulatory issues.

The journalist of the social movement “CHESNO” Iryna Latysh in the article for Ekonomichna pravda checked the work of the service for compliance with all legal and labor standards. AIN.UA briefly explains what violations were revealed.

What was revealed – in a nutshell:

  1. The van parked at a pedestrian crossing.
  2. After the van was stopped by the police, it turned out that the driver did not have the necessary driving category.
  3. Drivers work 10-14 hours a day.
  4. Uber Shuttle itself does not have proper transportation licenses.

Violation of traffic rules and problems with drivers

After inquiries to the Department of Transport Infrastructure of the Kyiv City State Administration, the journalist and operator of “CHESNO” were invited to an experiment to verify Uber Shuttle.

According to the author of the material, Irina Latysh, it was initially agreed that Ukrtransbezpeka and the police would take part in the audit. But representatives of the regulator did not show up. Without it, law enforcement officers could not stop the minibus on their own.

Everything happened by chance. The operator of “CHESNO” made an order through the Uber application, and one of the shuttles took him from a pedestrian crossing. This allowed the police to stop the car to issue a fine.

Photo of the material’s author

During the inspection, it turned out that the driver did not have a category D driving license (transportation of passengers in minibusses up to 16 people). The driver also did not have any permits as well as a passport of the route that all carriers in Kyiv are obliged to have on them.

“CHESNO” also found advertisements for recruiting new drivers at Uber Shuttle. The information indicated in them goes in violation of labor standards: they offer work from 10 to 14 hours a day or from 50 to 70 hours a week. According to the Labor Code of Ukraine, drivers cannot work more than 40 hours a week.

On this screenshot, Vitalii Primak warns, “Be careful! Uber Shuttle’s work schedule is 5/2 from 7 am to 9 pm.” He confirms his words by a screenshot with a comment from Uberlin, an international partner of Uber. It says, “We offer a job of a driver with category D driving license to work on our buses. Work schedule: Monday-Friday from 7 am to 9 pm, salary 20,000 UAH/month. For more information, please call 7373.”

Issues with licenses

The definition of a regular passenger route is spelled out in the Law of Ukraine “On Road Transport”. To comply with it, Uber Shuttle needs to do the following:

  1. Win a competition held by the Kyiv City State Administration for the announced route.
  2. Conclude an agreement with the organizer of transportation.
  3. Add cars to the Ukrtranssecurity database.
  4. Approve the passport of the route with the patrol police.

Checks conducted by “CHESNO” revealed that none of the items have yet been complied with. Official replies about Uber Shuttle’s lack of licenses were provided by the transport department of the Kyiv City State Administration and Ukrtransbezpeka.

The city council also confirmed that the transport, communication and advertising committee have not yet discussed the issue of legalizing the service.

Company’s take

Uber representatives did not respond to a request made by journalists. The editors of AIN.UA also sent a request to the company, but there was no response at the time of publication of this article.

The situation was commented by Heorhii Sokoliansky, Head of Uber Development in Central and Eastern Europe.

First of all, every vehicle operating with Uber Shuttle has a bus license. According to Ukrainian law, bus licenses are issued to fleet operators, not Uber.

To ensure the safety and legality of the service, Uber checks the availability of a license, as a mandatory requirement for each vehicle to enter the route. We use a state-owned online database in which any interested person can check a specific Uber Shuttle bus by the license plate.

According to him, Uber makes sure that all drivers have a category D driving license. He also added the following:

Being a technology platform, Uber does not hire drivers and does not control their working hours. But for safety reasons, we limit the driver’s daily hours to 12. Thus, each driver has at least a two-hour rest break.

Sokoliansky also commented on the lack of licenses:

Since the launch of the service, we have been working closely with government and local authorities to determine the role of Uber in ensuring that bus carriers comply with all regulatory requirements, despite the innovative characteristics of the service, the specifics of which are not reflected in the current regulation, such as dynamic bus routing based on GPS.