Uber to Stop Operation in Brussels
Uber Bruxelles – With Uber having one of the largest taxi businesses in Europe, It has been filed to stop operation in a major city in Europe. Uber app will become useless in Brussels from Friday evening following a court ruling on Wednesday.
Uber Bruxelles has been ordered to stop offering its main ride-hailing service in the Belgian capital of Brussels from Friday evening.
It was ruled in the court of appeal in Brussel on Wednesday that a 2015 ban on private individuals offering taxi services also applies to professional drivers.
This will cause over 2,000 private drivers with Licenses in Brussels to no longer be able to pick up customers, according to the company.
As reported by cnbc.com, Uber wrote on Twitter “From this Friday, you won’t be able to get an Uber in the EU capital, We are disappointed with today’s court decision to close our Brussels app.”
According to Uber, the decision goes against the European Commissions’ digital and green ambitions. The European Commission is the executive arm of the European Union.
The Uber company has been fighting through legal battles across Europe over how it employs drivers and compiles with taxi regulations. They said “Drivers like the flexibility of being self-employed, but some drivers say they struggle to earn enough money through the app while also missing out on an employee benefit like sick pay and annual leave.
Uber Bruxelles does urge people to sign a petition to save the 2,000 professional drivers who use Uber in the city.
This decision has been criticized by several people including Niklas Oestberg, co-founder and CEO of the food delivery app Delivery Hero. “Europe’s anti-tech stances are only hurting our tech progress, Uber disrupted the taxi industry 10 years ago and we still don’t have a better solution than?” he wrote on Twitter
The street leading from the European institutions to the center of Brussels was blocked in protest by angry drivers on Thursday and the Brussels mobility authority advised drivers to avoid travelling through the city.
That very Thursday, the Brussels Government agreed on a proposal to reform the region’s taxi and private car industry. The authorities said they would actively look for a temporary solution for Uber though has yet to be formally announced.
The minister-president of Brussels Rudi Vervoot wrote on twitter that “the agreement must guarantee a quality service that is adapted to new habits of customers and users.”
Uber was fined over $300,000 USD by the court according to Bloomberg news. It reportedly told two ot the company’s units to pay $150,000 euros each as it backed a complaint by Taxis Verts, a Brussels taxi firm.
With London being Uber’s biggest market in Europe, Brussels is a major City with several business delegates and politicians traveling to the city with many business delegates and politicians traveling to the city on a regular basis.