Amsterdam cabbies threaten to blockade Uber drivers

Taxi. ()

Hundreds of taxi drivers in Amsterdam are threatening to take matters into their own hands if the government does not do something about the controversial taxi service Uber. Among other things, the taxi drivers are considering blocking the roads for illegal drivers.

The cabbies are planning to hand a letter to the municipality tomorrow. The letter has been signed by more than 800 taxi drivers. In the letter the drivers ask the responsible authorities "to carry out joint inspection against these illegal transporters". They point out that an earlier police action in Rotterdam was successful.

The drivers want to hear what the government plans to do against the illegal drivers within 7 days. If nothing happens, the municipality will "see the 3,500 Amsterdam drivers forced to go into confrontation with Uberpop and their drivers themselves and protest against this unfair competition", they write.

The Amsterdam taxi industry has decided to go into action because more and more illegal drivers have been active in the capital this last month, taking business away from the real taxis. "The problem is only growing, despite the ban by the court", one of the protesters said. "On weekends customers are continuously dropped off by Uberpop drivers at the famous nightlife areas Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein. At Schipol too Uberpop drivers are waiting in front of the Sheraton hotel for their clients, because who does not want to pay 25 euros instead of 50 euros to be brought to Amsterdam."

One way to force the police into action is to block the Uberpop drivers, the taxi drivers reason. "We can not detain them ourselves, but we can follow and call the police. Who must then take action, because it is illegal. As citizens we have the duty to report offenses." said Ali, spokesperson for the taxi entrepreneurs.

In addition to the allowed taxi services Uberblack and Uberlux, which use professional drivers, Uber also offers cheap, illegal taxi rides through Uberpop. Uberpop uses individuals who want to make some extra money. The court declared this service illegal, but the company continues with it anyway. The use of Uberpop in Amsterdam is ever increasing.