Saturday, February 06, 2016

France's Private Hire Drivers Protest On Heels Of Taxi Rivals

Rivals of traditional taxi drivers protested in Paris on Friday in the latest episode of a turf-war that has come to symbolise France's quest for compromise between free-for-all competition and heavy-handed regulation of economic activity.

On the heels of angry protests against them by traditional hail-down taxis, drivers relying on smartphone applications of the kind made famous by California-based Uber blocked airport access roads and a Paris roundabout to state their case.

Police had intervened overnight to halt a stone-throwing standoff between drivers of both types, police officials said, but Friday's protests were broadly peaceful.

Drivers who use smartphone applications complained that their livelihoods are being endangered by excessive regulation by the public authorities in the wake of the protests by traditional licensed taxi drivers earlier in the week.

Licensed taxi drivers accuse the government of failing to ensure application of 2014 legislation that obliges users of Uber-style online booking systems to return to base after each trip and refrain from seeking hail-down business on the streets.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has appointed a mediator to devise a solution that answers the demands of both sides - taxi drivers who have paid a high price for a licence and alternative car ride providers who say they, too, have to earn a living.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another lowlife mob who want to steal a living from the properly appointed, be sure the Paris Taxi troops will beat them off.