Uber to launch in Luxembourg from mid-June

Luxembourg travellers will be able to book a taxi through their Uber app from June, marking the end of a long wait for the ride-sharing service to set foot in the Grand Duchy.

The entry of the global taxi giant into the Luxembourg market comes through a partnership with the locally owned and operated company Webtaxi, the two firms announced on Thursday.

From mid-June, users of the Uber app will be able to book a taxi journey with drivers who are registered with Webtaxi. Travellers can also continue to use the Webtaxi app in the same manner as before.

Despite the brand coming to Luxembourg, Uber will operate differently in the Grand Duchy compared to its core markets as private individuals will not be able to provide taxi services.

The two companies also did not comment on whether Uber’s dynamic pricing mechanism, which pushes up rates during high demand, will be put in place, saying that the decision will be taken in the coming weeks.

Webtaxi took the initiative

It was Webtaxi that took the first step towards entering into a deal and approached Uber “to combine our local presence and taxi service in Luxembourg with Uber’s cutting-edge technology and app,” said Emile Weber, board member of Webtaxi, in an interview.

He added that the company is always on the lookout for new opportunities and it was aware that many users open the Uber app in Luxembourg without being able to use it.

“The new partnership will make it easier for both international visitors and residents to order journeys throughout Luxembourg”, said Laurent Slits, director of Uber Belgium.

Drivers registered with Webtaxi will get the benefit of additional journeys by being able to “also serve Uber’s huge user base of 150 million monthly active users worldwide,” said Slits. “With over 150,000 openings of the Uber app in Luxembourg last year, we expect visitors, tourists and local users to welcome the launch of our app in the Grand Duchy.”

The Uber app offers more efficient routing between journeys. Passengers using the app would have access to familiar features such as emergency call buttons, the ability to share the journey in real time with family or friends, and tools to ensure they get into the right vehicle.

In addition, users can see the fare before they order a journey.

Dynamic Uber pricing in Luxembourg?

Both companies remained non-committal on the prospect of having Uber’s dynamic pricing in Luxembourg, which is already known for steep cab prices. Uber’s prices globally can often be much lower than those offered by other taxi providers.

However, Slits did not comment in detail on the pricing in Luxembourg at the press conference on Thursday. He said that it’s something that the two companies will decide in the coming weeks.

He did assure that all the necessary legal requirements would be adhered to in Luxembourg, meaning that it will only be licensed drivers who can drive the taxis. That is one of the reasons why Uber struck the co-operation agreement with Webtaxi.