BONN/REGION. On Thursday, the taxi competitor Uber began operating in the greater Cologne area. The company has confirmed that trips from Bonn and communities in the Rhein-Sieg district are also possible.
A large number of taxi drivers in NRW and other German states vented their anger on Wednesday with big demonstrations in cities including Düsseldorf and Cologne. Many taxi drivers from Bonn also took part. Their protest was mainly directed at the plans of Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) to open up the transportation service industry to new providers - including Uber.
Worry on the part of Bonn taxi drivers is due to Uber already being used in several major German cities such as Berlin, Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt/Main, and the fact that it has now started its service in the Cologne area since Thursday. According to Oliver Klug, spokesman for Uber Germany, customers in Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district can also use the Uber app to request trips, but they must expect limited availability of drivers and longer waiting times than in Cologne itself.
However, Klug was unable to say exactly how far the service extends beyond the Cologne area. "In the coming weeks it will become clear which trips the drivers will accept." The Uber spokesperson also expressed a similar opinion about the exact number of active drivers. "The number of drivers will vary greatly at the beginning, but will then settle on a concrete pool of providers," said Klug.
(Orig. text: Dierk Himstedt / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)