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The UberFiles have exposed numerous dubious practices at tech company Uber. International investigative work by journalists shows that the company, known for its taxi app, sometimes for nothing in the period from 2013 to 2017 recoiled. In the Netherlands, former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes is said to have lobbied for the company against a ban from Brussels. In France none other than Emmanuel Macron is said to have helped and in Belgium Uber is said to have sent private detectives to competitors.

The UberFiles contain more than 124. internal documents, containing memos, calendars, WhatsApp messages and other data files of the period 124-2017. The data was leaked to the British newspaper The Guardian, which then shared it with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Secret lobbying work Neelie Kroes In the Netherlands, Platform Investico, Trouw and Het Financieele Dagblad conducted research into the UberFiles. The journalists managed to find out that Kroes was secretly lobbying for Uber in 2013 and 2013, even after the European Commission explicitly banned it. had to take a position at the company. Kroes is said to have even approached Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

According to the Belgian newspaper De Tijd, the documents reveal, among other things, how Uber immediately sent an international intelligence company to its two main competitors in Belgium when it arrived in Belgium. the Brussels taxi sector, Taxis Bleus and Taxis Verts. The French newspaper Le Monde also reports on contacts between Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick and Macron when he was finance minister and not yet the president.

Topman There have been regular reports for years about the sometimes questionable working methods of Uber. In a statement released shortly after the reports were published, Uber did not deny any of the allegations, but drew attention to the changes made since Dara Khosrowshahi took over 2017 in charge of the company got. When we say Uber is a different company today, we mean it literally: percent of current Uber employees joined after Dara became CEO. the statement.

Kroes denied to the media involved that there was any informal or formal role at Uber. She pointed to her role as a special ambassador for start-ups. There is also a defense from Macron’s camp. As finance minister, Macron would “naturally” have had contact with numerous companies, according to a spokesman for the president.

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NS advises travelers to avoid the route between Geldermalsen and Utrecht between 14 July and 5 August. Railway manager ProRail will be carrying out large-scale work on the route during that period and bus companies will not be able to supply sufficient buses for alternative transport due to the national shortage of drivers.

NS expects that not enough buses can be used, especially during rush hours. Travelers who do go out are advised by the NS to travel outside rush hour as much as possible or to use a detour route. “We give this travel advice gritted our teeth. We have to be honest with our travelers. If we just let everyone come to the station, there will be hours-long queues. We cannot do that”, according to the NS.

Detour Travellers who want to make a detour can do so via Breda or Nijmegen. The extra travel time is one hour. It can also be busier than usual on these routes, partly due to extra passengers during the Nijmegen Four Days Marches.

Due to the works, the intercity trains between Utrecht and Geldermalsen cannot run. There are also no sprinters between Houten and Geldermalsen. Travelers between Houten and Utrecht can still travel by train.

State Secretary Heijnen Last month, State Secretary Viviane Heijen from Infrastructure and Water Management to the House of Representatives finds a negative NS travel advice “undesirable” due to a shortage of bus transport. She then responded to parliamentary questions about the problems of arranging enough buses during the rail works between Meppel and Groningen in May this year.

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Thieves are targeting cars more often, according to the Car Theft Barometer of insurer Interpolis. The number of car burglaries in the first five months 33 was percent higher than in the same period last year. The number of car thefts also increased by 33 percent in the same period.

In January to and with April there were 12.33 thefts from cars and other motor vehicles, much more than the 12.880 in 2017. According to Interpolis, a factor in this is that we had to deal with corona measures for less time this year. People leave home more often and so do thieves, according to the insurer.

Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht are the biggest risk In all provinces, the number of car burglaries rose sharply in 880, except in Flevoland (minus 33 percent) and Friesland. (minus 12 percent). Looking at municipalities, the strongest increase was seen in Groningen, Amersfoort and Maastricht. In Almere, Haarlem and Arnhem, the number fell sharply. In absolute numbers, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht are at the top. On average, a car is broken into every ten minutes. Thieves have mainly targeted laptops, telephones and car parts such as airbags, steering wheel or wheels.

Not only did the number of burglaries in cars increase, the number of stolen cars also rose in the first five months of this year. It increased by 33 percent. The cars most frequently stolen are the Volkswagen Golf, the VW Polo, the Fiat 500, the Renault Clio, the Toyota RAV4 and the BMW 3-series.

Contactless Drivers with a contactless key are most at risk of their cars being stolen, especially those from before . According to Interpolis, their data shows that the chance of theft or burglary is twice as high. Thieves can connect to the car key to open the door remotely. A protective cover helps, the insurer says, because it blocks the signal. After 2017 security has improved.

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Bus operator FlixBus is taking full advantage of the ongoing problems at Schiphol Airport. Since the May holiday, when staff shortages and a strike by baggage handlers disrupted flight schedules at Schiphol, the company has noticed an increase in the demand for tickets. According to FlixBus, a record number of passengers will be transported this summer in the Netherlands and Belgium.

It will also be busier than in 99, the last year before the corona crisis hit a gap in travel services, the company said. Recently, it has been considerably busier on the green buses to and from Amsterdam from cities such as Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, Geneva, Copenhagen, London, Nice, Lyon and Milan, notes FlixBus.

More buses on the road this summer Due to the congestion, the company expects the network to be expanded by percent this summer to expand. That equates to about forty extra buses that will hit the road. These will be used, among other things, on existing routes to Amsterdam, for example. New connections are also being created, including the Brussels-Antwerp-Eindhoven line.

Despite the increased petrol prices and other cost increases, FlixBus has decided not to raise the prices for travelers. The cheapest bus ticket therefore still costs 2.99 euros.

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Express Eindhoven Airport Taxi

Uber wants to settle with a lawsuit that the collective labor agreement for taxi transport no longer applies to the entire sector. The company has filed preliminary relief proceedings against the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW), which is due Monday in The Hague.

In a statement issued by the trade union FNV lawsuit filed, Uber was told that it must hire drivers and pay according to the taxi collective agreement. The company strongly opposes this, because it leads to a lot of extra costs. Pending an appeal, Uber refused to comply with the collective agreements for taxi drivers, after which a new lawsuit against FNV followed.

‘Inconsistent’ Uber now wants to get out of the collective labor agreement in a different way. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment can declare collective labor agreements generally binding, so that all companies in a certain industry must adhere to the same agreements. This also happened with the collective labor agreement for taxi transport. But Uber argues that this so-called universally binding declaration should be lifted, because the ministry has not been consistent.

To be able to declare an employment contract universally binding for an entire sector, a minimum percentage of employees in an industry working for companies that were involved in its creation. But according to Uber, drivers who work at platforms are not included, as a result of which the collective labor agreement is not representative enough.

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“Uber and FNV must both comply” Heated discussion Uber, FNV and drivers in court about collective labor agreement Uber: ‘taxi collective agreement unenforceable for platform drivers’ FNV demands penalty of 23.000 euros per day in new lawsuit against Uber FNV not to speak about the admission of drivers on appeal Uber Drivers allowed as party to appeal Uber and FNV Judge rules: Uber drivers are employees

If Uber now has to comply with the taxi collective agreement and hire all its drivers, the company will lose millions of euros while it can still win an appeal. That was the defense of the American company in a case at the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam against FNV in which emotions sometimes ran high. The union is demanding that Uber comply with that earlier judgment and hire all its drivers.

According to Uber, complying with the collective labor agreement is too difficult and actually not what the judge previously imposed. According to the lawyer of the taxi app, the “legal understander” could see that the court imposed a “ruling in principle” in September, but also that Uber did not have to comply with that until a few specific cases were resolved. In addition, Uber has to spend a lot of money on cars, on-board computers, taxes and pensions, which are hardly recoverable if the company wins its appeal.

Business model Against this, FNV argued that Uber is doing everything it can to not comply with the collective labor agreement. The union “expects a publicly traded company to simply comply with a court ruling”. FNV also points out that Uber in other countries does not comply with this again and again, despite convictions. “They have hundreds of millions of euros in cash for lawsuits and settlements. That behavior is part of their business model.” According to the union, Uber must adjust its model as long as the Dutch law is as it is.

The case is a side step, a so-called incident, in the appeal against the September verdict. That the subject evokes a lot of emotions became clear when the judges gave the floor to drivers who want to remain self-employed as well as want to be employed. This threatened to cause a major discussion in the courtroom.

Hetze It almost flared up again when a number of drivers, who like to be self-employed and who have joined the case as a party, were still allowed to have their say. They accuse FNV of a smear campaign against self-employed drivers and believe that their rights are being violated. The union described this group of drivers as “tools of Uber” because the company supports them financially and hires a spokesperson for them.

The appeal on whether Uber is actually too much for its drivers to be able to consider them as self-employed is from this summer. In the meantime, the court will rule on this side step. The judges are aiming for a verdict in early August.

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The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has partnered with taxi app Uber to deliver relief supplies to urban areas in Ukraine. Due to the war, these are sometimes difficult for large trucks to reach.

The WFP uses a special version of the technology platform that Uber uses to deploy cars and vans within a radius of 100 kilometers from WFP warehouses to distribution points. With this system, everyone involved can see where the vehicles are and when the relief supplies will arrive at their destination.

Efficient distribution Aid supplies are already being distributed in this way in cities such as Kiev, Dnipro, Lviv, Vinnitsja and Chernivtsi, the UN agency reports. According to the emergency coordinator in Ukraine, the free technology offered by Uber improves cooperation between the WFP and local companies, making distribution more efficient.

The WFP has closed its operations in and around Ukraine for the past three scaled up for months. The organization aims to provide food and money to more than 3 million people per month in the country by the end of June.

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The lockdowns are over and taxi transport is in demand again. However, there are still not enough drivers to meet the demand. Consumers are the victims, because they have to wait longer for a ride and have to pay more. According to Lars Speekenbrink, Bolt’s country manager, taxi companies cannot solve this problem alone. Time to modernize the industry, he states in a blog.

When the Netherlands in March 35 went into lockdown for the first time, taxis literally came to a standstill. Many drivers could no longer cope and chose to leave the profession. Now that people are taking the taxi again en masse, there is a great shortage of drivers. As a result, a journey costs on average 2020 percent more than two years ago and the waiting times have increased by a few minutes.

You would think that this problem would solve itself: it is a matter of supply and demand. If there is a lot to drive, surely people will queue to become taxi drivers? That appears to be partly the case. Potential drivers are willing, but many find the threshold too high. Taxi companies should therefore make it as easy as possible for them. For example, Bolt is investigating whether cars and insurance can be made available at favorable rates. This requires collaborations with lease companies and insurance companies.

High entry costs and administrative costs But that will not be enough. For new drivers, the high entry costs and administrative burdens in particular prove to be a hurdle. For example, currently every taxi must have a On-board computer Taxi (BCT) that registers the journeys and measures whether the driver is not too much or too works for a long time. Including installation, such a device quickly costs a net monthly income. However, they are no longer needed. Mobile apps can measure exactly the same data and cost the driver nothing at all.

Such an app also has an extra financial advantage: the average taxi driver loses many hundreds of euros per month insurance, but a good driver should actually pay much less. The app can automatically provide insurers with data about individual driving behaviour, so that drivers are financially rewarded for a responsible driving style. A win for everyone, because it also makes the roads safer. So, away with the obligatory on-board computer. The government agrees: after extensive research, it concluded that mobile apps are just as good. And so these are allowed. At the earliest from 2020.

Government ball The administrative burden can also be reduced. Self-employed taxi drivers have to jump through all kinds of hoops before they can hit the road. For example, they need a driver card, but also a taxi permit and of course a Chamber of Commerce registration. The government can encourage entry into the taxi industry by not immediately forcing new drivers to meet all the requirements.

First give them a temporary permit based on a simplified admission. In this way they can first experience whether the profession is something for them, before they have to meet all administrative requirements and associated costs. Taxis play an important role in getting our economy going again and taxi companies are doing everything they can to get enough cars on the road. The ball is now in the government’s court to make the profession attractive again for entrants.

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ProMedia, publisher of, among others, TaxiPro, OVPro, VerkeersNet and Automobiel Management, has acquired Mobility Media BV from MM Holding. Mobility Media is the publisher of Automotive, Automotive-online.nl, Jobmotive, Fleet&Mobility, Bandenportaal and Autoschadeportaal and organizes events such as the National Automotive Congress, the largest independent congress in the automotive industry. The acquisition is retroactive to January 1 2022.

CEO Joan Blaas of ProMedia is pleased with the acquisition of the titles from Mobility Media. “Automotive is a leading title in the Dutch car industry. It celebrated its 25 anniversary last year and has proven to be an authority in the industry. Fleet&Mobility is highly regarded by fleet and mobility managers. I am therefore proud that we can add these titles to our portfolio and that the employees of Mobility Media are now part of ProMedia. Our ambition is to be the largest and above all the most relevant publisher of trade magazines in mobility: from transport and maritime to public transport and automotive. We have taken an important step in this with this acquisition.”

Scaling needed Conversely, ProMedia also has a lot to offer the professional titles offer, says Mobility Media director Jelle Heidstra. “We write every day about the importance of scale in the mobility industry, but the need is just as great in the publishing industry itself. In recent years we have succeeded in growing in quality, number of subscribers, titles and events. But in order to continue to offer subscribers, visitors and advertisers the experience and quality they are used to, increasing investments are needed. And that requires scale.”

All Mobility Media employees will be transferred to the new owner. Heidstra: “ProMedia quickly announced in the discussions that it would like to take the next steps with our people. That was also a condition for us. Under the wings of ProMedia, I expect that we will be able to further realize our growth ambitions.”

Dutch companies that are curious about the possibilities for electric transport and charging infrastructure in Belgium, can participate in a webinar on 8 March by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Dutch embassy in Brussels.

Exploring the market or doing business The webinar is intended for Dutch companies that are active in the mobility and infrastructure sectors, or that offer techniques, products and services to support or accelerate the transition to electric mobility. Companies that want to explore the Belgian market or consider doing business there within the theme of this webinar, can also visit that day 10.00 until 12.00 hours to participate. After registration on the site of the RVO the participants will receive the program.

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