Uber will no longer offer its services in Brussels from 6pm on Friday.
The American taxi platform set up UberPop in Brussels in 2014, where private individuals could register for passenger transport for a fee. However, a court ruled in 2015 that the service was not legal and issued an injunction against UberPop. As a result, Uber reformed its services in Brussels and since then has only worked with drivers who have a VVB permit (the same license as limousine drivers).
Since 2015, Uber has been able to continue growing in this way in Brussels, where around 2,000 drivers say they drive for the taxi platform. But the Brussels Court of Appeal ruled today that the strike order against UberPop also applies to Uber’s current services.
“This ruling is based on outdated regulations that predate the introduction of smartphones and which the government has promised to reform for seven years,” said Laurent Slits, head of Uber in Belgium. “We are very concerned because 2,000 Brussels VVB drivers will lose the opportunity to generate income from Friday. We call on the Brussels government to swiftly reform the sector so that drivers can continue to work and support their families. “
Uber is investigating whether the case can be appealed.
Hundreds of Uber drivers are taking action
Drivers connected to the Uber taxi app disrupted the traffic on the Brussels Ring on Wednesday evening. This is reported by Mobiris, the capital’s traffic center.
Belga noticed on the spot that there were major delays on the small ring road in Brussels, especially at Porte de Namur and Kunst-Wet. There are a few hundred drivers who, in addition to the ring road, also use expressways coming from the airport. The demonstrators were all in their cars, but either stood still or drove at walking pace.
The demonstrators urge the Brussels government to urgently work on new legislation as the court’s decision is based on a decision made in 1995. “We will block Brussels every day until we get a response from the cabinet of Minister Vervoort (Prime Minister of the Region Brussels Capital, ed.) ”, Said Fernando Redondo, President of the Belgian Limousine Drivers Association (ACBL).