Parts of Paris crawled to a near halt on Monday (December 15) as French taxi drivers launched ‘Operation Snail’.
Some roads around the French capital and its airports were congested to protest against what the licenced taxi drivers label ‘unfair competition’ from companies such as Uber.
They claim their strictly regulated services are suffering as a result of mobile apps such as UberPOP – advertised as a car-pooling branch of the company.
“We find services like that unfair. We’re against UberPOP, we won’t let them do this to us, so car-sharing companies beware!” said one taxi driver.
“We pay huge amounts in tax and we’re paying the licence, too, which costs some money. We pay for expensive insurance, so it’s not normal that they do whatever they please!” added another.
On Friday (December 12), the Paris Commercial Court rejected a request to impose an emergency ban on this type of service.
However, just ahead of Monday’s protest, the Interior Ministry announced that such car-sharing enterprises, which use mobile phone applications to connect non-licenced drivers to passengers for a fee will be banned from January 1 2015.
Uber’s French branch is currently appealing a 100,000-euro fine for alleged fraudulent business practices. A court found UberPOP was incorrectly advertised as a car-sharing operation, instead of a paid transportation service.