The Hilton Doubletree hotel in Dommeldange was the venue today for the July luncheon organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg which saw almost 60 people attending.
Mr Daniel Tesch, Director at the Automobile Club Luxembourg, was introduced as the guest speaker by Patrick Birden, Secretary of the British Chamber.
Mr Tesch outlined the background of the ACL which was founded in 1906 and recreated in 1932 and recently created its 80th anniversary. The ACL is now moving into a new generation of a larger concept of mobility and to achieve this we need greater tools. The membership of the ACL is made up of 51% of households across the Grand Duchy and is still growing, with membership split into four main categories: Young ACL, Luxembourg, Europe and World. There were spurts of membership growth in the 1970s as the Carnet d’Assistance, evolution of the breakdown services to week-ends and other services were introduced.
In 2011, the ACL responded to 39,000 calls for roadside assistance, of which 15,000 could be resolved on the spot. The ACL also organises trips abroad amongst their extended range of services in the overall range of mobility, and this includes the new YellowCab taxi service to be launched formally tomorrow and to start operations on Monday.
Looking forward to the new generation, ACL 2.0 is defining its environment and will be presenting its “Democracy 2.0” concept in the autumn, with the evolution towards more of an online, rather than offline, service provider.
On the aspect of the YellowCab taxi service, the ACL decided to act on the issue of the increasingly difficult mobility issue of taxi business in Luxembourg. The ACL firstly voiced it openly, calling for change, and then decided to be pro-active and took action themselves. An online petition drew more attention to the issue and the local press started to cover the subject and raise awareness of the issue to a broader public.
The ACL have created the conditions for the YellowCab logo; this includes an agreed pricing structure agreed upon before the journey commences – there are no taxi metres installed in the vehicles and YellowCab taxis will not be stopping at taxi ranks. The service is available to members of the ACL and fares are on average 40% lower than market charges, with reservations made by phone (tel: 4500-4500), smartphone apps and social media.
Taxi drivers in the YellowCab concept will have to undertake training for eco-driving – this includes not smoking in the taxis, etc.
Further details will be available tomorrow at the press launch.
Photos by Geoff THOMPSON