Court bans UberPOP, Uber to appeal

The company Uber has to stop the taxi service UberPOP. The Board of Appeals for businesses has determined that drivers transporting people in their own car for a fee with UberPOP, do so illegally if they do not have a taxi license.

The case was filed by the company and the decision was made by the court in the Hague on Monday. The taxi service had objected to fines imposed by the Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT). The inspectorate, in cooperation with the police and the Public Prosecutor, issued the first fines in Amsterdam in October.

With UberPOP customers can request a ride through an app on their smartphones. A driver will then pick up the customer in his own car and transport him/her to the desired location at half the cost of a taxi. Last week UberPOP announced that they are expanding to Rotterdam and The Hague.

Royal Netherlands Transport (Koninklijk Nederlands Vervoer - KNV) is pleased with the verdict. "This strengthens the sens of justice of our members. Road transport for a fee is covered by the Passenger Transport Act. There you are required to have a taxi license as an entrepreneur. And drivers and vehicles are also subject to certain minimum requirements", said a spokesperson.

Uber is going to appeal against the ruling. "This is just the first step in a long-running legal battle. We will appeal", Uber responded. "The decision of the judge is not about the legality of UberPOP, only the penalty measure." According to the company, the verdict is based on an outdated law from 2000. "When there were no smartphones and other innovative ways to ensure quality."