Taxi drivers sowed traffic chaos in Europe’s top cities on Wednesday by mounting one of the biggest protests ever against a smartphone app.
Uber summons rides at the touch of a button and it is apparently unpopular with licensed cabbies because it is a big company and competes against them. Although it is a high tech option, the cabbies feel that it breaks local taxi rules, violates licensing and safety regulations and its drivers fail to comply with local insurance rules.
Uber claims that it is all because the taxi industry has not faced competition for decades and was seeing competition from companies such as Uber which was bringing choice to customers.
Uber says its minicabs arrive in five minutes in central London and its fares are 30 to 50 percent cheaper than a black cab.
Hundreds of licensed black taxis snarled traffic in the streets around Trafalgar Square in central London, hooting their horns as they passed Downing Street, home of Prime Minister David Cameron, and the Houses of Parliament.
In Paris, taxis slowed traffic on major arteries into the city during the morning commute. Hundreds choked the main road to Berlin’s historic centre while commuters packed buses and trains, or just walked, to get to work in Madrid and Barcelona.