Taxi Drivers Muck Up Traffic In European Streets To Protest Uber

Traditional taxi cab drivers in Europe have apparently found a natural enemy in Uber, the seem to have found a natural enemy in Uber, the on-demand car service connected to a smartphone app. In protest against their rivals, hundreds of taxi drivers clogged up traffic in the streets of London, Paris, Berlin and more.

In London, cab drivers clogged up traffic near Trafalgar Square, honking as they went past the Houses of Parliament and Prime Minister David Cameron’s home, reports Reuters. Cabbies in Paris choked up main roads during the main commute, while their compatriots in Berlin, Madrid and Barcelona also made things tough on commuters.

“This about an all-out assault on our profession, our livelihoods,” said one London taxi driver who’s been driving for 34 years. “These big companies are coming in, not playing by the rules.”

European drivers claim Uber goes against local taxi rules, licensing and safety regulations, among other things. But Uber says it’s totally on the up and up in each place it operates.

“What you are seeing today is an industry that has not faced competition for decades,” said Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Europe.

“Now finally we are seeing competition from companies such as Uber which is bringing choice to customers,” he said, calling the taxi industry in most countries “highly regulated” and “not pro-consumer.”

To make up for today’s traffic snarls, Uber emailed clients in Germany with a 50% for the rest of the day on shared rides, while in London it took out a full-page advertisement offering new customers 20 pounds ($33.58) off their first trip.

Taxis sow traffic chaos in Europe protesting against Uber car app [Reuters]

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  1. ShadyTrust says:

    The same is happening with AirBNB in NYC. The city’s afraid competition will hurt the big hotel chains that are fueling their politics. Can’t have that.

  2. Mokona512 says:

    This goes to show how bad their customer service is. Services like uber, tend to cost more than the established taxi services, other than costing more, from many of the reports, the cars are more comfortable and the customer service is far better with fewer issues surrounding purposely taking bad routes in order to rake in more money.

    All they really need to do is offer better customer service for the same price and they can easily beat uber. It will not really even cost them much, just don’t screw customers over to get more money out of them, and either get rid of, or find a better position for those dividers (some cabs have them installed in such a way where there is almost no leg room).

    Uber’s business model seems to be based on offering more convenience and a little better customer service, while charging a lot more for it. The established taxi services seem to follow a business model of “you will take what we give you, or you can take the bus”

    If they are seeing enough loss of business to want a protest, even though the competition is charging significantly more, then it means that treating customers like crap is not working out for them (both services will get them from point A to point B, but based on their reaction, it seems that enough people are willing to pay more to not be treated like crap while getting there).

    • kjh says:

      I’d agree with a lot of this, with the exception of London. I’d rather have a driver that passed “The Knowledge”.