Ah, Parisian taxis. They’re expensive, unfriendly, and inconvenient (if I have to search for a taxi stand, why wouldn’t I just take the bus?). But one thing is for sure, they know how to get organized.
Today, Paris taxi drivers — or as they are known in France (and I am not making this up), taxi artisans — staged a crippling strike that blocked roads around Paris and particularly the Charles de Gaulle Airport to express their frustration with Uber (known as UberPop in France) and other ride-sharing apps.
“We think that it’s unfair competition,” says a taxi driver in this story from 24-hour news channel France24. He speaks from his car as he inches it forward in the demonstration, a rainy, noisy, traffic nightmare. “We will never be taken advantage of. We will continue to fight. The other ride-sharing applications had better watch out.”
Well, no one likes a traffic jam and victory for the taxi drivers was announced the same day. As of January 1st, UberPop will be banned in France. According to this piece in Le Monde anyone who tries to provide or use Uber services after that date could face up to 2 years in prison and/or a $300,000 fine, a sum that makes even Paris taxis seem affordable.