Uber going under?


Last week, there were many reasons to celebrate in Brussels.  Not only did winter 2013-2014 turn out to be one of the warmest winters ever, but also Uber launched its services (finally) in Brussels (albeit only UBERpop).

I have used Uber myself in Paris and was very happy with it.  No stinky cabs, no driving around the same block for the 4th time, no hassle with cash money, no explaining your driver how to drive, no tilting meters after midnight, …

You would think the city of Brussels would welcome Uber, especially after all those stories of fake/real Brussels taxi drivers kidnapping and raping tourists.

But Belgium would not be Belgium if we did not find some rules somewhere that were violated.  Yesterday, the 2 only Uber vehicles in Brussels were seized by the police after a ‘random’ police control.  Authorities in charge say Uber violated following rules:

i. the drivers did not pass the exam (strange… I once had a ‘regular’ taxi driver who neither spoke English, French nor Dutch – I wonder in which language he took his exam)

ii. they don’t follow the price setting (hello non-competition authority?)

iii. the cars are not marked properly (you know… the marks that the kidnapping taxis do have)

Apparently, local Brussels authorities also sent a formal complaint letter to Uber in US to stop all its activities.  Probably drafted in French…


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