Uber taxi service faces Paris protests as roads blocked

Uber taxi service faces Paris protests as roads blocked

Taxi drivers are blocking some roads around Paris and at airports in protest at the taxi-booking service Uber.

The demonstration came as France’s Interior Ministry said it would ban UberPop, the company’s carpooling service, from 1 January.

Uber customers can summon taxi rides from a smartphone app, but the company has faced protests across the world.

Critics say UberPop is in reality a standard taxi service, and want the company’s whole operation banned.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told French TV that new laws would ban services like UberPop.

“It illegal to offer this service but additionally for the consumer there is a real danger,” Mr Brandet told iTELE, according to a report by Reuters. He cited concerns about whether some taxi operators are fully insured.

‘Important moment’

In a statement, the president of the union Taxi de France called on taxi drivers to react with “fervour and firmness to this injustice”.

“Come out in mass to defend our work, it’s an important moment,” president Ibrahim Sylla said.

Also on Monday, a regional transport authority in Belgium said it would support a taxi firm which has mounted a legal challenge against Uber alleging unfair competition.

Founded in 2009 in California, Uber has become a popular transport alternative to traditional taxis in cities across the world.

Uber charges a commission for each ride, but fees charged by the service’s drivers are generally lower than normal taxis.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30476503

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