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Belgium in Brief: Brussels’ Uber Issues

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Do you have any idea what it’s like to be an Uber driver in Brussels? Because I don’t.

Not a clue, but I certainly find it useful.

Like many services in the city, Uber is one of those things that has become part of the fabric of daily life. Can’t get there? Grab an Uber, it’s fine. It’s just a thing we do now.

If you’d told me 5 years ago that I’d be debating an electric rental scooter or a ride that I ordered on my phone whenever I wanted to go to a meeting, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Equally, if you told me now that delays to a proposed reform have left drivers trying to do their job in the lurch, I’d find it hard to believe too.

On both counts, I guess I would have been wrong.

Ethical quandaries, fines for workers and arguments aplenty from both sides – but I’ll let Helen Lyons explain here.

Has your life adapted to a point that you couldn’t live without certain services? Would you eat as much takeaway if you couldn’t get it delivered by a rider? Would you travel so far if you didn’t have so many ways to do so?

Let @johnstonjules know (or email me

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Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Immediate fines for bike thieves caught in the act

The police will be able to give every thief they catch red-handed stealing a bicycle a fine of €250 on the spot, starting from 1 January 2022. Here’s more.

2. Still no reform: A summer of broken promises for Uber drivers

After the Belgian capital banned Uber drivers from using their smartphones back in March, a cold war between the city’s leadership and the American-based rideshare company has heated up. Read More

3. Port of Antwerp tests unmanned security drone

The hope is that the drone will provide critical support to security services and help in responses to a variety of potential incident scenarios. Read More.

4. New World War II monument inaugurated near Antwerp

A new monument in honour of victims of World War II concentration camps and resistance heroes was inaugurated on Sunday at Fort Breendonk, in Willebroek, Antwerp Province. Read More.

5. Wallonia’s clean-up drive seen as a major success

Over 80,000 people answered a call by the Be WaPP non-profit organisation to join the 7th edition of its “Grand nettoyage,” a four-day drive to clean up Wallonia’s streets, rivers and countryside, organisers said on Saturday. Read More.

6. Vaccination appointments increase five-fold in Wallonia following introduction of Covid Safe Tickets

The number of vaccination appointments increased five-fold this weekend after Thursday’s decision by the Walloon government to extend the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST). Read more.

7. Brussels Mobility wants to know how you feel (about travel)

A new barometer by Brussels Mobility wants your opinions on mobility throughout the capital region to better understand how people feel about the services provided. Have your say.

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