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Court orders 2,000 Uber drivers in Brussels to cease operations
The Brussels court of appeal ruled on Wednesday that drivers with the LVC licence, which allows them to be hired to transport people, can no longer use the Uber application from this Friday. The decision means that 2,000 Uber drivers in Brussels will no longer be able to provide their services and that the app will be virtually unusable in the capital.
"On Wednesday 24 November, the Brussels Court of Appeal issued a judgment implying that the injunction to stop operating, issued in 2015 against UberPop, which allowed individuals to provide passenger transport services, also applies to mobility services provided by professional LVC drivers," Uber said in a statement.
"This means that from Friday 26 November, at 18.00, 2,000 Brussels drivers with an LVC licence will lose their sources of income, and hundreds of thousands of passengers will no longer have access to these safe and affordable transport options," the statement read.
"This decision was made on the basis of outdated regulations, written in an era before smartphones, which the government has promised to reform over the past seven years, an exercise it has failed," added Laurent Slits, who heads Uber's operations in Belgium. "We are deeply concerned for the 2,000 Brussels LVC drivers who will lose their ability to generate income from Friday. We urge the Brussels government to act swiftly to reform the taxi and LVC sector once and for all, so that drivers can continue to work and provide for their families."
Uber is investigating whether it can appeal the case.
The Brussels region recently came up with the long-awaited "taxi plan'" championed by minister-president Rudi Vervoort. It states that the statutes for Uber and classic taxi drivers will be aligned, and minimum rates will be set. The question now is whether Uber can and wants to comply with the plan.