January 1st, 2013, the Parisian Taxi Commission implement the ’15-minute law’.
The 15 minute law will take effect, requiring smartphone Private Hire apps such as Uber, to wait at least 15 minutes, after customers order a ride before a pick up can be completed.
Paris has a long history in the Taxi market and the number of taxis in Paris has remained relatively unchanged since 1950. When Paris taxis want to flex their muscle, they need only block all major roads and highways in order to get their way. This is made relatively easy as all representative groups, drivers, owners and associates belong to one body...the Paris Taxi Commission.
Uber founder Travis Kalanick has tried to expanded his brand in Paris but has come up against a united Taxi trade, probably the best represented divers in the world.
The ’15-minute law’ is not news to most. We heard earlier this year that the decree had been proposed. After the initial shock of such a law set in, it seems that PH companies with apps such as SnapCar, LeCab, Chauffeur Privé, as well as Uber, spoke with the Minister of Transportation and had convinced the group in charge of the decree to include a clause stating that the law would only apply to users who had signed up in the past 24-48 hours.
This would rendered the decree useless, as there is no way to verify on sight, when a passenger signed up for the service, nor do new passengers make up for a large percentage of daily users on chauffeur apps. But even so, the licensing authority considered the inclusion of said clause.
In the days leading up to the announcement about whether the decree would be put in place, it seems the Paris Taxi Commission threatened once again to block all major thoroughfare unless the caveat to the decree was removed and the decree enacted as originally announced.
Just the threat of action was all it took and now we find ourselves here - looking at a precedent about to be set in France, which has encouraged the preservation and tradition of their historic industry.
Meanwhile in London our representatives seem to be sleepwalking into a minefield. There appears to be no apatite to take on TfL over smart phone apps such as a Uber. Our inside man (undercover uber) says that they are looking to roll out a new low cost service which they hope will overrun London, finally taking down the iconic Taxi trade.
Vive la france, vive la différence.
Taxi Leaks Extra Bit