updated 03:02 pm EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Anti-Uber law proposal demands headquarter visits by drivers
French legislators are continuing to work against app-based driver services, by proposing a new law changing the way they operate. The proposal from the French Senate would require drivers for car-service companies to return to their headquarters, or in the case of a driver using Uber or a similar service, a parking garage or their home, between clients.
The proposed law does not apply to taxi drivers, the incumbent group who previously enjoyed a law forcing app-drivers to delay picking up a fare for 15 minutes after it has been requested, until it was struck down. "These are all measures meant to stop us from being able to compete with taxis," said Western and Northern Europe manager for Uber Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty to the Wall Street Journal. "It will completely disrupt our economic model."
If enacted, the law would dramatically affect app-service drivers in the area, with the majority living up to 30 miles outside the city, with drivers based at home facing extended periods of time driving without a passenger. Raichid Boundi, a driver for Uber and Chauffeur-Prive, told the report "Honestly, I will quit. It will be pointless to work," claiming the request to return to "headquarters" to receive the next fare is a practice belonging to "the 1960s," not 2014. The law would also prevent apps from showing the current locations of vehicle fleets.
Taxi drivers still believe the new law does not go far enough to make things fair. "This is a first step in resolving the conflict between two professions, one that is extremely, even too, regulated, and the other has no constraints," advised chief executive of Taxis Bleus Yann Ricardell. "It attempts to put competition back in equilibrium." The sentiment is felt elsewhere in the world, with Uber and others having trouble with lawmakers in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and other areas.
The proposal is now headed to the National Assembly for voting this fall.