The municipality of Amsterdam and Uber have reached agreements on traffic safety, independent research, data sharing and sustainability, and have laid down these agreements in a ‘Social Charter’.
This is the outcome of the Uber Task Force that was formed at the beginning of the year, following a series of accidents in the Amsterdam area involving chauffeurs who had been driving for Uber at that moment.
Alderman Sharon Dijksma: “The rise of courier services like Uber has rapidly changed the taxi market in recent years, and raised concerns about an uneven playing field on the Amsterdam taxi market. The municipality strives to maintain a level playing field, and it regards the agreements that have been made with Uber as an important step in that direction, together with current national and local regulations and the new municipal taxi policy that is currently under development.
I’d like to thank the task force chair Rob van Holten and all the other participants for all their work, their constructive attitude towards these discussions, and the results they have achieved.”
One of the agreements was that Uber would join the Traffic Safety Coalition (Verkeersveiligheidscoalitie) before the end of the year. The members of this alliance adhere to collective agreements on safe smartphone use in traffic and work together on other measures to make traffic safer. It was also agreed that Uber would take account of traffic safety in developing its financial incentives for loyal chauffeurs.
Uber plans to implement its existing face verification system in Europe in order to prevent the fraudulent use of chauffeur accounts. The company agreed to periodically inform the municipality on the status of the introduction of this technology in the Netherlands. With regard to sustainability, the deal included an agreement that Uber would make at least 750 emission-free vehicles available through the app by 31 December 2020.
It was also agreed that Uber would work with an academic institute (to be determined) to launch an independent study into the job satisfaction, earnings, flexibility and working hours of chauffeurs using the Uber app before the end of the year, with recent research by Oxford University into London chauffeurs serving as an example. Uber has undertaken to discuss the design of this study with the municipality, and to make its outcomes public.