Airbnb and Uber
After a protracted struggle with the city in the names of safety and regulation, Airbnb was given the official go-ahead (or at least a “please continue”) in December 2014... as long as renters collect and pay a tourist tax for each guest. (So it was about “safety,” eh?)
Now the government has turned its spotlight on Uber, whose drivers also at one point faced physical threats from local taxi drivers. As it stands, the higher-end Uber Black is often the only option available, using legally registered cars and drivers. Prices don’t differ significantly from regular taxis, though. (There’s also an even fancier UberLUX or a more spacious UberSUV.)
The cheaper UberPOP option is harder to find these days, though it’s still around. The government, however, has definitively stated this version is not legal, fining the organization and its drivers hundreds of thousands of euros so far and raiding the massive mobile development HQ in the center of town twice (though users haven’t faced any fines). Hoping to appease opponents, Uber is replacing UberPOP with the more legal budget variants UberX and Uber Taxis, where all the drivers are officially certified, but the struggle with The Man goes on.
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Elysia Brenner is a writer, editor, and all-around Amsterdam expert. Follow her on Twitter right here.