Uber alternative launches at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport

Transport company Trandev launched a new taxi service Abel in Amsterdam on Tuesday. Abel is intended to be competition for taxi startup Uber and claims to be half as cheap, because customers can share the taxi with other passengers heading in the same direction, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

From Tuesday passengers can book a ride in an Abel taxi with the company's app. The starting price is 2.50 euros and then 1 to 2 euros per kilometer. The price is determined by, among other things, in how much of a hurry the customer is and with how many other passengers he is willing to share the ride. The company hopes that the low prices will make Abel a good alternative to public transport.

Abel starts with a fleet of 20 electric cars and 50 taxi drivers, all employed by Transdev Netherlands. For the time being Abel taxis will only travel in Amsterdam and to and from Schiphol Airport. They taxis can only be booked on the app - they cannot be stopped on the street and are not at taxi ranks - between 7 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.

Abel has one year to prove itself. Transdev hopes that the new taxi service will break even in 2017. The company is putting between 2 and 5 million into the Abel startup.

Transdev is responding to the rapidly changing consumer behavior due to technological developments and the emergence of new players in the public transport market with Abel. "We will have to reinvent ourselves before another party gets ahead of us", Bart Schmeink, Director of Transdev Netherlands, said to the Financieele Dagblad.