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Jordan launches battle against Uber

The Jordanian government is cracking down on Uber drivers because the company is in violation of public transit laws.
AMMAN, JORDAN - SEPTEMBER 10: Jordanian traffic police officer Sylvia Hjazeen directs traffic at one of the city's most important road crossings on September 10, 2007 in Amman, Jordan. A women's police academy opened in Amman in 1972 making Jordan the first Arab country to admit women to its police services. There are currently 73 female officers in Amman traffic police, accounting for less than 5 percent of the service, and this year seven became the first women to patrol on motorcycles. (Photo by Salah Ma
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AMMAN, Jordan — The Jordanian government has cracked down on the popular US ride-hailing company Uber and its Dubai-based rival, Careem, impounding around 60 of their cars, an Amman police official told Al-Monitor. The police have covertly ordered Uber rides on the company’s app and then after the drivers' arrival seized the cars and issued fines. Justifying the government’s recent change in policy toward the US company, Marwan Hmoud, director general of the Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC), said, “[Uber] cars currently operating in Amman and other governorates are violating traffic rules and regulations.”

Many Amman residents resent the government’s interference in this aspect of daily life because the ride-hailing companies are well-liked in the city. Despite frequently adopting a pro-government line, Nabil Sharif, the former minister of state for media affairs and Jordanian ambassador to Morocco, opposes the police campaign to impound Uber and Careem vehicles. “This is the new technology all over the world,” he told Al-Monitor. “You cannot stop this wave of change.”

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