Transparency and Choice, for Free!
Over the past week, the people of Brussels have proven that this city is not only the capital of Europe, but it is poised to become the European capital of urban ridesharing, fully embracing uberPOP.
We have been overwhelmed by the huge demand by both riders and drivers for Uber’s urban ridesharing solution in Brussels – and by the many pleas for our high end service UberBLACK.
User and driver reception has been phenomenal. The way authorities have been handling our long awaited arrival has been noteworthy too – but in a very different way.
Uber is all about transparency, so we wanted to share the facts with you here, to clear up the misinformation.
Despite reports to the contrary, Uber has been in repeated contact with relevant authorities prior to launching uberPOP, and launched because the city had clearly embraced ridesharing for more than 8 months.
12 September 2013 – we met with the Cabinet of Minister Brigitte Grouwels (the cabinet) and the Director of the Brussels Mobility Administration (the regulator). Uber’s intentions to enter the Belgian market were discussed.
16 October 2013 – we sent an email to the regulator in which we explained its uberPOP and UberBLACK solutions, expressing its desire to enter the Brussels market.
17 October 2013 – we met with the cabinet and the regulator again and was informed that given existing tension with taxis, Uber should start the lengthy process of seeking to change existing regulation before launching UberBLACK – a proces unlikely to occur before the May elections.
27 November 2013 – After indirect and informal discussions about launching uberPOP an email was sent reiterating our desire to enter the Brussels market with this service.
23 January 2013 – we met with the cabinet and the regulator explicitly announcing our intention to launch uberPOP in Brussels in February.
A week after launching uberPOP the authorities decided to try and halt us from providing our low cost option by impounding two cars of uberPOP drivers two days ago. This disproportionate and targeted measure is clearly intended to limit choice for Brussels riders and drivers.
Rather than communicate directly with us, authorities used media to leak information, document the impoundments and announce a letter to Uber that we had yet to receive. They even found time to orchestrate a reality TV show to cover one impoundment, ambushing a Brussels driver with a camera.
These events have made one thing very clear: Brussels authorities do not understand the needs of their residents – transparency and choice at affordable prices.
But Brussels, good news, WE DO!
We have been feeling the #uberLOVE and we wanted you to know that #UberLovesBXL!
So, as announced already earlier today, we’ve decided to make uberPOP FREE for EVERYONE this week.
We call on the authorities to make it their priority to start a public dialogue on improving Brussels’ mobility in the very near future – not play games.
uberPOP, POP on in BXL!
The Uber Team