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'Uber profits' as French taxi drivers' protest rumbles on

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Uber is enjoying the ongoing the French taxi drivers strike. Photo: AFP
08:54 CET+01:00
Private booking cab firms like Uber and Chauffeur Privé have seen their number of new users jump ten-fold, reports say, as taxi drivers took their protests into a third day on Thursday.
Around 200 taxi drivers spent the night in their cars blocking roads at Porte Maillot on the western edge of Paris as they refused calls by police to disperse. Drivers are advised to avoid the area.

Porte Maillot as well as the capital’s two airports have been the focal point of the protests that began on Tuesday morning.

On Thursday taxi drivers, angry over what they see as unfair competition from the likes of Uber and the government's inability to enforce laws to protect them, held go-slows in towns around France to disrupt the traffic.

Go-slow protests were also planned at Orly and Charles de Gaule airport on Thursday as well as at Bercy and an operation on the A13 motorway towards Paris was causing long tail backs.

French PM Manuel Valls has appointed a mediator to look at the issues and launched a three month consultation period, but unions are determined to carry on.

But all the while the protests by determined cabbies rumble on, the very firms that the taxi drivers rail against appear to be profiting.

According to information obtained by BFM TV the number of new clients downloading of apps for firms like Uber and Chauffeur Privé have exploded in recent days.

As many as 15,000 new users a day have signed up to Chauffeur Privé – a French version of Uber, media reports say, ten times the normal daily sign up rate.

And users took to Twitter to explain why.

 

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