The Italian taxi drivers are back on the warpath and promise to block Rome on March 18, when they will strike against the government and Uber.
The scheme, now, is repeated identically across Europe from London to Paris where Uber has a license. The American company is always in the news with its controversial online application – via smartphone or iPad – offering users a new way of using cars: You only pay by credit card and drivers receive get to rate you. Giving the impression of a computer game.
Traditional taxi drivers have attempted to replicate, but for the time being continue to denounce as unfair competition from Uber.
In Rome Taxi orgs promise to introduce more than ten thousand drivers from all Italian cities to protest against the deregulation of their sectors, explain the national leaders of the taxi drivers’ unions. Amendments to the law 21/92 (the standard framework of public transport, ed) would favor oligopolies and multinationals, at the expense of the public service “.
The goal is to gridlock the city, which recently happened in London, where over 8000 Black Cab London paralyzed Whitehall.
Also, in Paris, just 1500 cars managed to block access to the airports of Charles de Gaulle and Orly, sparking an urban guerrilla war scenario with burning tires and tear gas.
Taxi groups in Italy, have long been calling for stricter regulation in regards to Uber.
Previously in December last year, the government would had to intervene with the approval of the decree milleproroghe, but then on Christmas Eve, they decided to postpone everything for a year.
In January, then, the senator of the Democratic Party, Linda Lanzillotta, tabled an amendment to the bill in which she asks to make recording of all journeys on platforms required (including Uber) and the identification “of requirements and obligations for drivers in order to ensure road safety and the safety of passengers. Both with reference to the efficiency of the cars and the suitability of drivers, including adequate insurance coverage for the transport of persons. Plus an intervention that would serve to regulate the service by preventing anyone who is simply entitled to drive, but does not have a license for hire and reward.
Simultaneously, the amendment provides for an amendment to the obligations of the car drivers, to have a garage in the municipality which issued the authorisation licence, in short, no cross boarder hirings.
Taxi drivers protests have been strong enough to push the Democratic Party to reflect deeply. It is expected, that the government will back this. This is a trial of intention, as the government and the speakers have not yet fully announced their intentions.
Uber however, is not expecting any intervention says Senator Salvatore Tomaselli, “the amendments are part of the free, autonomous initiative of parliamentarians. As soon as the issue is ripe, we will present, our proposals are the result of the comparison with the associations of the representatives of the taxi drivers.
He went on to say: "No one wants to deregulate or impoverish the sector of public service provided by taxi drivers, which is critical. Another thing is to modernize the entire public transport sector, non-scheduled with the aim of creating a more efficient market and better services to consumers."