[ View the story "Protesting taxi drivers attack Uber car in Paris" on Storify] Protesting taxi drivers attack Uber car in Paris Ongoing dispute between French taxi companies and private car services heats up.
The Stream· Mon, Jan 13 2014 09:34:27 @renaudvisage
Attacked by Parisian taxi drivers this morning in our @Uber: stones thrown, back window broken, punctured tire, spit".
Attaqué par les taxis parisiens ce matin dans notre @Uber: jet de pierre, vitre arrière brisée, pneu creuvé, crachats
Got attacked in an @uber by cab drivers on strike near Paris airport: smashed windows, flat tires, vandalized vehicle and bleeding hands.Kat Borlongan
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
One Paris taxi company, not participating in the strike, offered an apology via Twitter:
"Sir, on behalf of the overwhelming majority of non-striking drivers, we wish to apologise for this intolerable misbehaviour".
@renaudvisage M. au nom de l'écrasante majorité de chauffeurs non grévistes nous tenions à nous excuser de ces débordements intolérables.LesNvxTaxisParisiens
The protests are the latest in an ongoing dispute between French taxi unions and up-and-coming minicab companies, known as VTCs in France. Some taxi drivers allege that VTCs, among them Uber, LeCab, and SnapCar, have an unfair market advantage. While a conventional taxi licence costs upwards of €200,000 ($275,000), VTC licences
cost just €100 ($136).
On January 1, a
went into effect, requiring VTCs to wait at least 15 minutes from the time a booking is made to the time they can make the pick up. However, French taxi unions are
pushing for this to be expanded to 30 minutes, and a minimum charge per VTC trip of €60 ($82).
The online reaction was largely critical of the protesting drivers.
Shame on Parisian taxis. High fares, impolite, refusing clients for any reason. Offer decent service before you strike!"
#Taxis parisiens #honte Tarifs élevés, pas courtois, refusent les clients pour raison X Proposez un service correct avant de faire grève!MoAnA
"Hey Parisian taxis, not refusing trips for €15, having clean cars, and being nice would help you more than a strike..."
Hey les #taxisparisiens ne plus refuser des courses à 15e, avoir des véhicules propres être courtois cela vous aiderai plus que la grève...Yazid Amer
"I wouldn't mind participating in the taxi boycott, but I never manage to get one".
Je veux bien participer au boycott des taxis, mais je n'arrive jamais à en avoir un. #taxisparisiens #boycotttaxisThe Kptain
Others took the opportunity to criticise taxi companies who, they say, are not learning from the success of VTCs. Many of the new companies offer smartphone apps to make booking cars easier.
Dave Ashton, co-founder of SnapCar, made his case in an open letter posted to French startup blog
The VTC companies have tried to collaborate with the taxi unions and companies. We’ve encouraged them to adopt innovative technologies that will improve their services and attract more clients, even as we work alongside one another in the market. They have refused.rudebaguette.com
The inability of taxis to do some soul-searching and draw the lessons of the VTC's success is astonishing".
l'incapacité des #taxis à faire leur autocritique et tirer les lecons du succès des #VTC est sidérante.Derek Perrotte
While a long-term solution to the showdown between the taxi companies and VTCs remains elusive, the taxi drivers' strike appears to have increased demand for VTCs like Uber.
"Uber message: 'Very high demand due to the taxi strike".