Following a series of recent fatal accidents (4 in total) involving Uber drivers, Amsterdam alderman Sharon Dijksma and Uber have agreed to set up a joint ‘Taskforce Uber’. Rob van Holten has been appointed as chairman. Van Holten has extensive experience in the transport world and was co-founder of bus company Qbuzz in 2008, where he was a director until 2014. It is unknown if Van Holten is also familiar with the taxi world.
In the ‘Taskforce Uber’, the Amsterdam municipality and Uber are working together on measures that, among other things, should lead to better road safety in the city. “We are working on a so-called ‘social charter’. In this, concrete and verifiable agreements are made about road safety, about transparency and data sharing, good employment practices and sustainability. The aim is to present the ‘social charter’ for the summer holidays”, commented the City of Amsterdam. The Mobility Ministry is also involved in the ‘Taskforce Uber’ because they are an important stakeholder.
The term ‘level playing field’ is apparently not known in the Dutch Capital, as the local taxi sector is carefully excluded from the consultation with Uber. According to the local regulatory institution “the agreements with Uber will be shared with the taxi sector, as and when they are found to be useful and desirable for use in the remainder of the taxi industry. The directors of authorized taxi organizations (TTOs) are therefore periodically informed about the progress being made in the ‘Taskforce Uber’.
- Structurally, the taxi sector is sidelined in the Amsterdam Uber consultation. What about ‘a level playing field’?