UberPop service continues for regulars despite legality questions
Controversial taxi service UberPop is no longer offering rides to the Dutch population in general, but the service is still available to selected regular customers.
A spokesperson for Uber confirmed this to the Volkskrant. "We are seeing increased demand for UberPop, but due to the unclear political situation, the offer remains behind." As the service is illegal in the Netherlands, people caught driving for UberPop could face a hefty fine and a criminal record. According to the spokesperson, this deters drivers from working for Uber. The company therefore significantly limited the number of customers, in order to still be able to offer customers a quick taxi.
According to the UberPop drivers, however, this new approach is due to the increased fines that the Environment and Transport Inspectorate announced in May - Uber has to pay a 50 thousand euro fine for each caught driver.
One driver told the Volkskrant that the service got remarkably quiet after the fine increase, which the drivers were not informed about in advance. "The number of ride requests suddenly dropped drastically", the 26 year old driver said to the newspaper. "We repeatedly mailed Uber and each time heard another excuse. Then it was the holidays, then it was quiet again." Only after insisting did an employee notify the drivers that the number of users has been limited.