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Uber could soon arrive in Luxembourg
Taxi regulation

Uber could soon arrive in Luxembourg

by Zuzanna REDA-JAKIMA 28.05.2021 From our online archive
Country's competition authority gives green light to draft legislation which would introduce ride-hailing services
Taxi prices in Luxembourg are among the highest in Europe
Taxi prices in Luxembourg are among the highest in Europe
Photo credit: dpa

The Competition Council has given the green light to a draft bill that could allow ride-hailing companies like Uber or Cabify to offer services in Luxembourg, thus allowing for greater competition among the country’s notoriously expensive taxi providers.

“In Luxembourg, consumers suffer because of high taxi prices, while at the same time taxi providers complain about profitability due to long wait times between fares,” the authority said in an opinion document published on Thursday.

The council, which advises the government on compliance with national and European competition rules, has recommended opening up the market as the only viable solution to address the issues.

“This would allow new entrants, while companies would be incentivised to adopt more innovative operating models and make use of digitalisation of services to improve efficiency,” the council wrote in its opinion, which had been requested by Transport Minister François Bausch, who is responsible for the planned reform.

Abolishing the limit on the overall number of taxi licences would “help the country’s image", the council said.

The opinion follows a similar endorsement from the Chambers of Employees, Commerce and Craftsmen.

At the same time, taxi companies, drivers and their unions are generally opposed to opening the market to ride-hailing services even though they are allowed to operate in Paris, Brussels, Berlin and other European cities.

Taxi prices in Luxembourg, which average from €3.50 to €3.80 per kilometre, and which can shoot to €5 per kilometre under some conditions, are among the highest in Europe, according to data from EU statistics agency Eurostat.

Ride-hailing companies operate under a business model which often allows lower prices than regulated taxi companies. For instance, Uber connects independent drivers - which it first certifies - with customers and calculates the price per kilometre based on the real-time demand of services as well as the type of car.

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