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Angry taxi drivers block traffic in Brussels

11:46 17/09/2015

During a major taxi demonstration yesterday on Brussels' inner ring road, an estimated 400 taxi drivers were involved in blockades. In addition to traffic chaos, the demonstration gave rise to a number of disturbances, including eggs being thrown, tires set on fire and rioting, reports brusselnieuws.be.

The demonstration had been announced beforehand, but it nonetheless caused additional traffic on Wednesday with blockades at Yser, Meiser, Schuman and South Station. The disgruntled taxi drivers also hampered access to Brussels Airport, forcing some people to walk from the blockade to the airport, with police accompaniment.

The taxi demonstration continued to cause chaos into the evening rush hour, especially in the European district, when police finally called for the demonstrators to move from the ring to Rue Belliard.

The taxi drivers are displeased with the rise of alternative taxi service Uber, a multinational player that is creating unfair competition for the regular taxis, according to the protesters. Yesterday's action was an initiative of the Brussels taxis, but also drew a lot of support from French taxi drivers.

Written by Robyn Boyle

Comments

Mikek1300gt

Not the fault of Uber that Brussels taxis, and Brussels as a whole, is massively and expensively over regulated.

Sep 17, 2015 12:24
MarvinHC

And the service in Brussels is poor. When in 2015 in THE European Capital it is nearly impossible to find a taxi that takes credit cards, something is terribly wrong.

Sep 17, 2015 14:27
Mikek1300gt

A lot of them are complete and utter tossers. That includes the drunken one that I sent packing from my door at 6AM and had my partner take me to the airport instead, and that includes almost all the ones that I have ever used who drive like complete and utter maniacs. I had one touch 130 in a 70 once, and then he was angry because I told him to slow down! Now I avoid using them at all.

Sep 17, 2015 15:42
salsadancer

I occasionally take a taxi and only use Taxi Vert as they are reliable and on time, cars are clean, and drivers polite. However, you have to call them. Very few taxis floating about so forget about finding one when you need one. If other Brussels taxis drove at the correct speed, did not cut into queues, and took credit cards, I would use them more often. I disagree with Uber -- the drivers have no experience and are just cashing in. The Brussels taxi companies need to "clean up their act" and they could properly fight Uber.

Sep 17, 2015 17:40
brusselsprouted

Brussels taxi companies need to respond to Uber not with violence, but by improving their services!!! They need to make it easy to find a taxi and easy to pay for a taxi. If their service is inferior, then they must fix it. Why should they have a monopoly?!

I love Uber because no cash changes hands and it is extremely easy to use. You can see exactly where the closest car is and how many minutes until it arrives. You can text with the driver if you need to change pickup locations (or he/she can text you if they cannot find you). The only time I use taxis now is to schedule trips to the airport and I use Taxi Vert. They are very nice and usually on time, but I am always nervous- will they arrive in time? What if I don't have enough cash- will they take a credit card??

Sep 18, 2015 11:09