Uber has announced that it will no longer be offering rides to customers in the ‘EU capital’, Brussels. The announcement from the firm came out on Wednesday, the same day that the Brussels Appeal Court ruled that a ban on private individuals offering taxi services also applies to professional drivers on the Uber platform. While the statement is a few days old now, today is the first day that Uber will stop offering its services.
Uber criticised the decision because it believes it goes against the European Commission’s digital and green ambitions. Having a convenient service like Uber helps commuters travel the last mile – for example, between their homes and their local train stations.
From this Friday, you won't be able to get an Uber ride in the EU capital 🇪🇺— Uber EU Public Policy (@UberEUPolicy) November 24, 2021
We're disappointed with today’s court decision to close our Brussels app which goes against the @EU_Commission digital and green ambitions. https://t.co/ZzTdg6pVfB https://t.co/sO5kFb6SMm
In an effort to fight the court’s ruling, Uber has set up a Change.org petition which explains that the 2,000 professional drivers in Brussels should be able to continue making a living through the Uber app. It also says the continuation of its services in Brussels would enable hundreds of thousands of passengers to continue getting around easily.
Over the last decade, Uber has been facing challenges from more and more countries in Europe as traditional taxi firms fail to remain competitive. In London, for example, black cab drivers need to be qualified to operate and learn London’s roads inside and out, whereas Uber drivers are not subjected to these constraints so it's cheaper for them to begin operating.