News of: Wednesday, July 30 2014,
Uber launches UberPOP in Amsterdam today. It says prices will be 50% lower than regular taxis.
Uber works with an app on smartphones, to connect taxi drivers with taxi clients. It operates worldwide and has been active on the Dutch market since 2012.
As of today, the company launches the UberPOP option. This works with private (and unlicensed) drivers, and Uber says the price of a ride will be 50% lower than regular taxi fares.
Uber says drivers must be at least 21, have their own car that is not from before 2005, has at least 4 doors and must have insurance. Drivers must prove they have no criminal record.
In addition, the drivers get an internal training from Uber.
A spokesman of the Uber compnay, Mr Niek van Leeuwen, admits in the newspaper De Telegraaf that UberPOP drivers are not licensed, which is against the law. However, he also says he is in touch with the government about the issue. The current taxi law, which dates from 2000, is to be evaluated in the course of this year, and Uber does not expect the government will actively enforce the rules until that time.
Uber starts UberPOP in Amsterdam with 20 drivers.
Update July 31: Taxi companies have complained about unfair competition, and call UberPOP a 'publictity stunt'. Taxi drivers must have a license and pass several tests to legally drive a taxi.
The taxi inspectors have announced they consider this new service against the law, and will enforce the rules. UberPOP drivers who get caught risk a fine of up to E 40,000.