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Brussels struggles to recruit taxi drivers

20:57 13/11/2019

About a quarter of taxis in Brussels are sitting idle, because not enough people can be found to drive them, new figures reveal.

Some 1,277 vehicles are allowed to operate as taxis in the Brussels-Capital region, but about 300 of them do not have a driver.

Sam Bouchal, secretary of the Belgian Taxi Federation, said there was "not a lack of candidates" - but they faced tough aptitude and psychological tests to obtain a "certificate of capacity" to drive.

According to Brussels Mobility, the shortage of taxi drivers is due to "a lack of attraction" to the sector among jobseekers - and has nothing to do with the exam.

Meanwhile, plans for a taxi strike in Brussels on 26 November have been put on hold. Four unions had intended to walk out, but have since had constructive discussions with the regional government.

For several years, Brussels taxi drivers have been complaining about what they call unfair competition from Uber, whose drivers use a private-hire licence and are not subject to the same rules.

Written by The Bulletin