The taxi sector has criticized the promotion by Brussels Airlines, announced on Tuesday, which will offer potential customers an end of year gift of a free shared trip with Uber worth 15 euros to get to a hotel or the airport. The Secretary General of the National Group for car and taxi companies and rental with driver (GTL-Taxi) Pierre Steenberghen, has said he will ask the Flemish cultural minister, Ben Weyts, to look at the case on Wednesday. “We would prefer not to strike, explains the Secretary General. “It would be counter-productive, especially as Uber is launching a new promotional offer “. For Pierre Steenberghen, Uber functions by paying workers on the black. “And if this continues, more and more drivers will go through the company as instead of paying tax, they just have to give Uber 20% of their income”.
Michaël Zylberberg, president of the Brussels Unified Taxis absl (BUT), the main Brussels Taxi group, also criticizes the promotion which he sees as an “act of expansion” by Uber to outside the capital, and a confirmation of them finding a “shameful way to get round the decisions made in Europe and the USA”.
A large amount of passengers going to or from Brussels Airport use Flemish taxis, Brussels taxis only being able to take people who have pre-booked. However, taxi drivers from all the regions can do nothing but be jealous of the publicity this Brussels Airlines-Uber promotion will get the shared transport company, said the president of BUT. “It is clearly commercial”, says Michaël Zylberberg. “In the media, on social networks, they are often adverts for Uber services, talking of ‘shared saving”, without really knowing what it is in reality. It’s a nice term, but it’s a commercial service”.
Questioned by the infrastructure commission and the Brussels Parliament a week ago, the mobility minister Pascal Smet confirmed that with the current legislation, “ride-sharing as practiced by multinational Uber is illegal”.
Andy Sanchez (Source: Belga)