Uber drivers stopped their service yesterday for a few hours in France to protest against some recent government decisions.
The ride hail companies, especially Uber, are facing increasingly more pressure around the world, as they are fighting both with regulatory challenges and with traditional taxi services. Governments are walking on a thin line, as they are trying to support the growth of such applications, while not disrupting the taxis business. Last month, French taxi drivers protested against Uber, bringing accusations of unfair competition and claiming that the California-based startup is bending some rules. Furthermore, Uber has been fined by a French court with 1.2 million euros for breaking the laws that limit alternative cab services to pre-booked business. Yesterday, the car-sharing company has decided to respond to these allegations by organizing a rally in Paris and suspending its service in France for four hours.
Staff from the company has also joined their drivers who demonstrated at Place de la Nation in Paris, a spokesman said. Drivers of chauffeured-car services have been protesting in the French capital for the past few days, causing some slowed traffic. The other target of their protests is a recent government decision to team up a special police unit whose responsibilities include spotting clandestine taxis. The 70-person “task force”, nicknamed Boers, has fined hundreds of unlicensed chauffeurs who are using car-hailing applications to allure customers from the beginning of the year.