UberPop launches in Amsterdam

The smartphone taxi service UberPop launched in Amsterdam on 30 July. The Uber App connects passengers with unlicensed drivers, providing a ride that is about 50 per cent lower than the standard taxi fare.

UberPop drivers must be at least 21 years of age, own a four-door car that is not older than 2005, have a normal driver's licence and insurance. Drivers who sign up with Uber must also have an Uber training. UberPop in Amsterdam is starting with 20 drivers.

Normally taxi drivers are required to have a special licence in the Netherlands, as in other countries.

The basic UberPop fare is €1 basic, plus .20 cents per minute, plus €1.10 per km. A five-km trip works out at about €8.50 compared with €17 in a traditional taxi. Passengers pay with their credit or debit cards registered during sign-up with the service.

There have been angry protests by taxi drivers in Berlin, Brussels, London Madrid and Paris against the arrival of UberPop, which now operates in 128 cities in 42 countries.

UberPop is the lower priced version of Uber that provides luxury cars with licensed drivers.