Uber launches in A'dam below taxi rates

Taxi. ()

American company Uber wants to break open the market, offering cheaper rides than standard taxi cabs. 

According to Uber's Netherlands manager, Niek van Leeuwen, the cheaper price is a result of automatization. "To plan the trips, we use advanced technology through which our drivers are able to make more trips than other companies," het Parool reports.

Trips with Uber's luxury cars are ten percent cheaper than with regular taxis, according to Van Leeuwen. The starting tariff is higher than, for example, TCA (€3 against €2.89), but the price per kilometer is lower (€1.90 against €2.12).

The cars can be ordered via a phone app, as the company does not rely on foot traffic for customers.

In Amsterdam, the car takes about five minutes to arrive at the customer's home, the company says. The trip price is automatically debited to the credit card, and a receipt is sent via e-mail. Each trip can be rated automatically by the user. The price of a trip depends on how many the driver has to make, Van Leeuwen says.

"We are taking full advantage of software programs that have been developed by our mother company in San Francisco. There are a hundred developers who make sure that we can keep working more efficiently", the manager says.

Van Leeuwen thinks there's still flexibility in the prices of taxi transport. "Amsterdam is one of the most expensive places for a trip with a tax and the quality of drivers is low on the international scale. There is room for improvement. I foresee that, in the end, we can compete with public transport."