FRANCE is set to ban car-share startups like Uber from using mobile phone apps in an attempt to resolve the dispute between taxi drivers and the government. After months of strikes and protests by French taxi drivers the French parliament has voted for a bill to modernise the taxi profession. Irate cabbies have tried to stop the spread of Uber and other companies, which allow customers to locate and order cars through apps.
A Europe-wide day of action saw taxi drivers gridlocking traffic in several European countries last month and New York’s taxi drivers have been fighting against the development of apps, which now as seen car-sharing start-up Lyft being banned from operating in the city last week.
The French modernisation drive includes proposals to allow local authorities to decide the colour of taxis that operate in their area and make credit/debit card machines compulsory. It would also stop the sale of vehicle licences, which are issued free by the licencing authorities but are sometimes sold underhand for as much as 200,000 euros. The right-wing UMP and the hard-left Left Front abstained on the bill, which must now go to the French Senate.