Uber shuts down operations in Trinidad

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[Trinidad Express] – After operating in Trinidad for almost a year and a half, ride-sharing app Uber is “pausing” its operations here.

The app announced to users on Tuesday that it is closing its services effective 11.59p.m. tomorrow. Driver knew nothing of the decision beforehand, the Express was told.

Some said they had purchased vehicles specifically to operate as Uber drivers and were now in a financial hole.

According to the statement from Uber: “The decision was not made lightly, but at this time, we believe that there is lack of a proper environment for innovation and technology to thrive in Trinidad and Tobago”.

It told users that it made multiple efforts to create a significant change with regards to mobility and opportunities for entrepreneurship.

“…Uber has unfortunately decided to pause its operation in the country,” it went on.

Following the death of Uber driver Christopher Mohammed on May 17, there was backlash from Uber drivers regarding their safety.

The drivers took a stance not to operate until Uber made an official statement on the issue and addressed their safety concerns.

An Uber driver confirmed that this statement was never made. Mohammed, 28, was found with gunshot wounds to his head in bushes along Mucurapo Road, St. James, around 11p.m. on May 17.

His Toyota Corolla was stolen but was recovered several hours later.

Mohammed, an offshore worker, had purchased the vehicle just weeks before his death.

His family said he became a part-time Uber driver to supplement his income.

Police said before he was killed Mohammed made an Uber pick up in the area. No one has been arrested for his murder.

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