US taxi drivers join Uber protest

Comment on this story
IOL mot jun26 us taxi protest c AFP Homeland Security police officers patrol as taxi drivers park their cars and honk their horns in protest on Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington DC, bringing street traffic to a stop as they demand an end to ride sharing services such as Uber X and Lyft.

Washington DC - Taxi drivers snarled traffic in downtown Washington and other parts of the US on Wednesday in protest against smartphone car-hailing services such as Uber, which they say are cutting into their business.

Several hundred cabbies took part in the demonstration on wheels spearheaded by the Washington DC Taxi Operators Association, affiliated with the powerful Teamsters union.

“All they want is a level playing field,” said Teamsters official Ferline Buie, who dropped off a letter to city hall demanding a ban on private sedan services pending fresh regulations.

Taxi drivers in London, Paris, Berlin and Rome staged similar protests on June 11, saying unlicensed drivers and chauffeur services using Uber have been chipping away at their client base.

While San Francisco-based Uber is the main target of the drivers' ire, it's only one of many new smartphone-dependent car services seen as bypassing strict regulations faced by licensed taxi drivers.

“The DC drivers have seen the protests across the United States and around the world,” Buie said.

Copy of IOL mot jun26 uber protest Assembly Bill 2293 would require transportation network companies to expand coverage for their drivers, which taxi drivers believe is insufficient. Photo: Max Whittaker/Reuters.

“And today it is their turn to join the growing chorus calling for these services to follow the same rules and regulations that they must follow.”

Undeterred, Uber -- present in 128 cities in 37 countries, and valued at $17 billion -- sent out an email Wednesday to its users in Washington pitching its lower-cost UberX service, which it claimed is “better, faster and cheaper than a taxi.”


sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines