In Europe’s top cities taxi drivers started causing traffic chaos in retaliation to Uber car service arriving in the EU. The new mobile service allows users to pay through an app and never have to worry about unexpected charges or having the right amount of cash on hand for the journey.
Places like London, Paris and Berlin all had taxis being generally disruptive at government areas as a sign of protest. One UK taxi driver claims “These big companies are coming in, not playing by the rules,” claiming Uber is making changes to the system and not giving taxi drivers a fair cut.
The three main allegations against Uber are the service breaks taxi-rules, the drivers fail to comply with insurance rules and it breaches the licensing and safety regulations. Uber denies all claims and believes taxi drivers are trying to force their way out of competition, which Uber is bringing to Europe for the first time.
Uber has been working on bringing more competition into the U.S, but the road hasn’t always been straight. Things like upping prices at peak times of travel have been called out, but Uber has defended its position and claims at peak times more taxi drivers will be busy, adding to the cost.
The service is definitely an improvement over the system taxi-drivers have in place in Europe right now. Being able to choose a taxi driver, offer feedback and pay through phone all work to create a good environment for the rider, but take anonymity and a small piece of the pay check away from taxi drivers.
Regulation is the biggest issue for Uber and already Spain’s Ministry of Public Works has said a fine will be given to any taxi-driver adopting Uber-like services.
Germany and UK taxi-drivers have also been looking at the rulebook for ways to stop Uber. It seems unlikely Uber will give up on Europe, once they have got the allegations out of the way taxis will start to adopt the technology.