Taxi app Bolt has also been active in the Netherlands since 2020 summer.
It resembles major competitor Uber in pretty much everything, but Bolt promises to be more lucrative for drivers. ‘There is a need for that in the Netherlands.’ An interview with Bolt’s director of the Netherlands Lars Speekenbrink.
n Amsterdam and Haarlem you can order a taxi via the new Bolt taxi app for a month now. Bolt (formerly Taxify) was founded in Estonia in 2013 and is now active in more than 150 cities in 35 countries. Every month, according to Bolt’s figures, ‘millions’ of rides are ordered. In most places, it competes with that other popular taxi app: Uber.
Bolt matches passengers with drivers in a smooth-running, slick app — just like we’ve come to expect from Uber. They rate each other after each ride and payment is taken care of automatically. At normal crowds, the fare of Bolt is equal to that of Uber.
At Bolt, drivers also work independently and in their own (leased) car. They can, in principle , work whenever they want. For each ride, they pay a percentage of the ride price as a commission.
As with Uber, a high passenger rating average (4.5 on a scale of 5) is a prerequisite for drivers to continue driving for Bolt. Drivers receive the well-known tips to keep their rating high: ‘always be pleasant and polite’, ‘allow the passenger to charge his phone’.
There are more similarities.
Both Bolt and Uber are fast-growing but loss-making companies. This is made possible by hundreds of millions of capital. Bolt raised more than $400 million from investors.
The parent company of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler, and the popular Chinese taxi app company Didi Chuxing, among others, invested heavily. At the beginning of this year, Bolt received a loan of fifty million euros from the European Investment Bank .
In some cities, Bolt also delivers meals and packages, just like Uber does, and customers can order electric rental bicycles and scooters in the app in addition to taxis. That was one of the reasons for the rebrand from Taxify to Bolt.
In 2017, Bolt clashed with local transport authority TfL in London. According to the TfL, it had “circumscribed the rules ” , upon which an investigation was launched and Bolt withdrew. Founder and CEO Markus Villig admits to Wired that Bolt wanted to grow ‘too fast’ in London and sometimes elsewhere.
(Bolt has been operating in the British capital again with its own license since last year.) We know about such growth urges and clashes with the authorities from Uber.
And just like Uber did , Bolt sometimes recruits drivers with too rosy revenue forecasts. In South Africa, where Bolt is also active, an advertising watchdog came to that conclusion . In the Netherlands, the message that drivers at Bolt can earn ‘up to €1100 per week’ was ‘not realistic at the moment’, Bolt’s Speekenbrink acknowledges in this interview.
The main difference then, between Uber and Bolt? Bolt charges a lower commission to drivers: fifteen percent of each trip revenue, compared to twenty-five at Uber. That means that a Bolt ride yields drivers 13.3% more than an Uber ride.
Update: Bolt is now also active in Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague and has increased the commission for drivers to twenty percent as of July 6, 2021. A Bolt ride now yields drivers only 6.7% more than an Uber ride.
Bolt also wants to be a ‘better partner’ for drivers in other areas. This in turn should provide a ‘nicer taxi experience’ for the passenger.
What gives Bolt the confidence to compete with Uber in Amsterdam and Haarlem?
‘Our experiences abroad. We are active in many more cities where we also have strong competition from Uber. Sometimes we were before, sometimes they. But even in cities where we started three years later than the competition, we often managed to capture a good market share. Then there is a need among drivers or passengers for a taxi party that takes a different approach. We saw this, for example, in London, Stockholm and Polish cities. We are the market leader in many African countries. In Amsterdam we heard from drivers and we read in the media that they are not always satisfied with their clients and earnings.’
Your app and method are very similar to Uber’s. What will Bolt do differently in the Netherlands?
“It’s true that Uber and Bolt are similar from the passenger’s perspective. The user experience in the app will be about 95% the same. That’s not surprising: just like Uber, we make good use of the latest technologies.’
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Amsterdam ‘fietsflat’ bike parking lot closed
The underwater bike park at Amsterdam Centraal marked the end of an era.
,This week, the old fietsflat parking lot at Stationsplein has closed its doors forever and it has been announced that people have until February 24 to pick up their bikes. It has been announced that the old parking lot will be open every day from 7 am to 7 pm for those who will buy their bikes. It was also stated that the bicycles not received by the deadline will be taken to the Bicycle Depot (Fietsdepot) of the municipality.
Fietsflat, meaning “bike flat”, was located to the west of the main station building. This structure was opened in 2001 and was designed as a temporary solution for passengers who use public transport and need a place to park their bikes.
More than 20 years after it opened its doors, on 30 January fietsflat officially closed, taking with it around 2,500 parking spaces for bicycles. This closure was more than compensated by the addition of two new parking spaces to the station. One of the new parking spaces is known to hold 7,000 bikes under Stationsplein (opened on 26 January) and the other at Ijboulevard (opening 14 February) for 4,000.
According to the municipality’s statement, Fietsflat stood out as an iconic building that captures Amsterdam as a bicycle city in a single image and is therefore frequently photographed by tourists. Although cyclists will no longer be able to use this building, the fietsflat will not be demolished any time soon, and the municipality will keep the building in case additional spaces are needed.
15 Buildings Seized in Money Laundering Investigation in the Netherlands
On the morning of Tuesday (January 31st), police arrested three people suspected of involvement in money laundering and drug trafficking, and said they would later be prosecuted.
These three men were arrested at their home in Berkel en Rodenrijs and The Hague. In addition to the arrests, fifteen houses were seized in The Hague, Rotterdam, Berkel en Rodenrijs, Hoogvliet, Nootdorp and Den Bosch.
The value of the confiscated properties is estimated at around 11,000,000 euros. The police launched an investigation into the money laundering crimes of the three suspects who were taken into custody. The suspects are known to be 23, 51 and 52 years old. In addition to the value of the properties, the agents seized a large number of valuables during the investigations carried out inside the properties. The government can join forces with the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the administration to achieve a more effective result against organized crime.
These crimes are carried out as money laundering because the source of illegally obtained money is hidden in criminal activities such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, theft, social and tax fraud. For this reason, money laundering investigations are never considered the end of the case, but the starting point, and in this case, the investigation will continue without slowing down.
Hundreds of Muslims in the Netherlands protested the tearing of the Quran
In the Dutch city of Den Haag, hundreds of Muslims protested the attacks on the Quran by marching.
A large number of Muslims participated in the demonstration called “Stand up against Muslim hatred” organized by the Federation of Islamic Organizations (FIO) and the Union of Islamic Organizations of the Haaglanden District (SIORH).
Protesters gathered in Orange Square in The Hague and marched to Koekamp Square, where the demonstration was held.
Protesters shouted takbir, holding a banner “Stop Muslim hatred. The Qur’an is a manifesto of peace for humanity. Haters should get their hands on it”.
Tahsin Çetinkaya, President of the Turkish-Islamic Culture Foundation, a member of SIORH, who read the press release at the demonstration, said that the hatred of Muslims in the Netherlands had reached a new level.
Stating that it has become normal to hold grudges against Muslims in Dutch society, Çetinkaya said, “Muslims, mosques and other Islamic organizations have been facing various acts of hatred for years.
Noting that the government remained silent on this situation, Çetinkaya said, “We see that the seeds of hatred against Muslims have not stopped yet because of this reprehensible attitude of politicians.
Politicians must now take responsibility for such terrible provocative events and their effects.” Stating that Muslims living in the Netherlands are a part of the country, Çetinkaya said, “Now enough is enough.
Stop holding grudges against Muslims and Islam.” After the speeches, prayers were performed and verses from the Qur’an were read.
No one was allowed to approach Rasmus Paludan, who burned the Quran under police protection in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm on January 21, in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.
Many Muslim countries, especially Turkey, reacted to the Swedish government’s permission to burn the Qur’an in Paludan. Kerim was on fire.
Edwin Wagensveld, leader of the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) movement in the Netherlands, tore the Quran in The Hague. attacks are protested.
In the Netherlands, the re-implementation of conscription is discussed
CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra has called for 18-year-olds to choose between “military service or social service”, saying it’s time to reintroduce conscription as the Armed Forces in the Netherlands faces a noticeable staff shortage.
Demanding that 200,000 young people join the armed forces or do some social work each year, Hoekstra said, “Security, democracy and a strong society are not free. Sacrifices must be made for these.” he speaks.
World’s first 3d bridge in Amsterdam to be removed soon
The “bridge made with 3D printing technology” at Stoofsteeg in the Red Light District (Rosse Buurt) will be removed soon.
It was said from the beginning that the bridge would be temporary. The original bridge, “Stoofbrug”, was removed in 2019 for renovations and was replaced by a temporary bridge made with 3D printing technology, opened by Queen Máxima in July 2021.
The reason for the immediate removal of the bridge is; the permission of the bridge to expire on 27 November 2022. The news site AT5 wrote that the time extension application was rejected.
Killed and two injured in knife attack in Delft, Netherlands
A 33-year-old woman was stabbed to death on Sunday in Delft.
The other two victims were hospitalized. Police have arrested a suspect and are continuing their investigation.
The incident occurred at around 11:00 am in Frederik van Eedenlaan. The injured are a 57-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man.
Police have yet to say what the cause is. The victim died at the scene. The 31-year-old suspect was arrested by Belgian police after a chase near Antwerp.
Black screens installed at Frederik van Eedenlaan in Delft. Forensic Medicine teams are investigating the crime scene.
Counterfeit currency circulation increased in the Netherlands
More counterfeit euro notes were seized in the Netherlands in 2022 than in the previous year. DNB states that two-thirds of these notes are bad imitations.
Although 50 euro banknotes have been the most frequently counterfeited internationally in recent years, the majority of counterfeit money seized in the Netherlands consists of 100 and 200 euro banknotes. The number of counterfeit coins seized in 2022 increased compared to the previous year. According to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the vast majority of counterfeit money consists of badly forged banknotes.
According to the information obtained, 38,200 counterfeit euro banknotes were seized last year, increasing by 47 percent compared to the previous year.
According to the DNB, there are currently 29 billion euro banknotes in circulation, and the chances of finding counterfeit ones in such high amounts are very low. However, the institution, which recently stated that most of the counterfeit money is of bad quality, states that they are noticed more quickly in this way.
In 2020 and 2021, when the corona pandemic was experienced in the Netherlands, the number of counterfeit banknotes was much lower than in previous years. The main reason for this is that citizens prefer the contactless payment option to go out less and prevent the risk of contamination. The number of counterfeit money seized in 2019 was around 39 thousand.
Badly forged banknotes
The DNB states that the counterfeit notes seized last year are of very poor quality and only forge some of the security features of an original note. The bank states that this makes it easier to spot counterfeit money. According to the DNB, nearly two-thirds of the counterfeit notes seized last year were of very poor quality.
Detecting counterfeit money
Some parts of the coin must be carefully examined to determine if a banknote is counterfeit, albeit low in quality.
Counterfeit coins often lack security features such as watermarks and holograms. Apart from the manual touch examination, it is also possible to check whether the DNB is fake through an application used on smartphones.
Warning not to use Emtea, the slimming tea sold on social media in the Netherlands
NVWA; He warned that the slimming tea Emtea, which contains dangerous substances for human health, should not be used.
Dutch Food and Consumer Safety Authority NVWA warned that Emtea tea, which is used for weight loss, contains substances dangerous for health and should definitely not be used.
Speaking to NPO Radio 1 about the teas in question, NVWA official Martin Kooijman said, “It is stated on the label that it contains very natural and harmless substances, but we are receiving reports that people who use these products have problems with anxiety, high pulse and high blood pressure.” said.
Emtea slimming tea looks like an ordinary tea bag and although it appears to be natural and green plants on the outside, it actually contains harmful substances. Kooijman stated that those who use this tea are playing with their own health, and that it actually contains a substance called “sibutramine”, which was removed from the European market in 2010.
The sale of sibutramine, which was previously used as a drug, was stopped by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2010. Studies have shown that 10-30 percent of ‘healthy’ people who use sibutramine (10-30 mg/day) develop complaints of dizziness, insomnia and dry mouth. In addition, excessive use is suspected to have strong cardiac effects.
It is stated that teas are usually sold through social media platforms Facebook or SnapChat. Kooijman, who stated that it was understood that it was also sold through Markplaats, added: “Another thing that surprises us is that it is spreading by word of mouth.” said. The NVWA official stated that an investigation has been initiated on this issue.
One person died
In a warning made in 2016, it was stated that the use of Emtea slimming teas is popular among Turks. In the same year, a young woman died of a heart attack due to the slimming tea she used. Side Effects Center Lareb and NVIC (poisoning information center) institutions, on the other hand, announced that the complaints of people who experienced serious side effects such as “fear, high heartbeat, high blood pressure, nausea and dizziness” increased.
In the same period, NVWA, which published a statement in Turkish about the teas that were stated to be used especially among Turks, drew attention to the fact that this product was sold by vendors going door to door outside of social media.
In 2017, two people who were selling these teas on social media platforms were detained.
Netherlands seeks solutions to staff shortage at Schipol airport
Schiphol Airport is expecting more than 1,300 visitors to the job fair it will hold at the airport today to recruit much-needed additional personnel.
Around 50 employers, including large handling companies such as Swissport and Aviapartner, will attend the event and provide information about open positions. Those wishing to attend the job fair can register in advance.
During the busy May holidays and summer season Schiphol may have to limit the number of daily departures. Because the airport still lacks hundreds of employees.
Last month, Schiphol hinted that the restrictions would no longer be necessary after March if the targeted number of staff were recruited. The passenger limit has been in effect since July last year. This practice was initiated due to the shortage of security personnel in Schiphol. From the May holiday this resulted in long queues, sometimes extending beyond the departure hall.
Applications that those who will give birth in the Netherlands should know
It is recommended that you make an appointment with a midwife or obstetrician as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.
In general, pregnant women in the Netherlands are able to visit their midwife / obstetrician every four weeks during the first half of their pregnancy. Usually, the number of appointments increases towards the end of pregnancy.
Dutch health insurance companies usually only reimburse two of the ultrasounds. You can have your first ultrasound exam around week 10 (termijnecho) of your pregnancy, and the second around week 20 (20-wekenecho).
For a long time, home birth was a popular option for pregnant women in the Netherlands, but the number of home births is decreasing. Besides giving birth at home, you can also deliver your baby in a birth center or hospital. You can make the decision that suits you best in consultation with your doctor.
The Netherlands takes great pride in its postnatal care system. In the Netherlands, postpartum care is called “kraamzorg” and is country-specific. A kraamzorg nurse checks on you and your baby every day and also takes care of basic household chores. Legally, you are entitled to kraamzorg for a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 80 hours.
After giving birth, you must register your child with the municipal civil affairs department in the local municipality. You must do this within three days of your child’s birth. A birth certificate will then be issued for your child.
If you have a job in the Netherlands and are pregnant, you are legally entitled to at least 16 weeks of paid maternity leave (6 weeks zwangerschapsverlof, 10 weeks)
bevallingsverlof). Partners of mothers who have just given birth are legally entitled to one working week of paid leave (geboorteverlof). From 1 July 2020, mothers’ spouses can receive an additional 5 weeks of aanvullend geboorteverlof. It is free.