If you have not tried Uber, it is an app that allows commuters to quickly book limousines (you can find out more about our experience here), and according to taxi drivers in Europe, it is threatening their livelihoods. As a result, thousands of taxi drivers across in Europe, across London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Milan, are protesting against Uber and threatening to bring traffic to a standstill.
According to reports, more than 30,000 taxi drivers have blocked tourist centers, shopping districts and airports, and are demanding regulators to place tighter controls and rules on Uber.
The thorny issue here is that these taxi drivers must have specialized taxi licenses, whereas Uber allows its drivers to circumvent this by connecting them directly to commuters.
Mark, a taxi driver in London said: “We have to have a license to own a cab, we have to have a driver’s license, a cab driver’s license. For some reason they seem to be outside the law.”
Kader, another taxi driver in Paris also said that apps like Uber is the reason why he has suffered a 40% drop in revenue since 2009.
In an attempt to appease protesters, Uber has launched UberTaxi in London, an app that works like other Uber apps and uses the same fares set out by the Transport for London, with Uber taking a 5% commission. However, it remains to be seen how many taxi drivers will be placated and will sign up.
In other news, Uber has stated that it has seen a 850% increase in registrations in London alone since the start of the protests.