Angry taxi drivers took to Parisian streets in a violent altercation against Uber drivers on January 13, throwing eggs, breaking windows, and flattening the tires of about 12 random Uber cabs. Luckily, no one sustained injuries.
Attackers tried to get in the car but our brave @uber driver maneuvered us to safety, changed the tire on the freeway and got us home.
— Kat Borlongan (@KatBorlongan) January 13, 2014
— Rude Baguette (@RudeBaguette) January 13, 2014
The violence happened on Monday when some 300 taxi drivers blocked the roads leading to the city’s Orly airport, causing some 150 miles of additional traffic. The protests were a response to the new taxi app services that allowed every day drivers to give rides to smartphone users despite the new 15 minute law negotiated by the Taxi Union. The law became effective as of January 1, 2014, when Uber and all taxi apps were required to provide a 15 minute delay for every request for taxis through smartphones, a major advantage demanded by the Parisian taxi unions that gave union drivers a major advantage.
In response to the violence, France’s Uber GM made released the following statement:
Uber strongly condemns this morning’s incident where two of our users and our driver were confronted with severe violence.
First, we are very glad all involved are safe and ok. Also, we would like to praise our partner who has shown great courage and professionalism, who focused on getting his customers out of a very challenging situation.
That the taxis chose to use violence is unacceptable, that they chose to strike is their business. However, Parisians also have a choice when it comes to moving around in their cities, and today’s incident will certainly not tempt Parisians into choosing a taxi for their next ride. Safety, reliability and choice, not violence, are what continues to draw customers towards VTCs.