Uber is facing stiff competition in Paris. Photo: AFP
Ever-controversial Uber said on Thursday that its UberX service – which uses professionally licensed drivers – would be reducing its fares in Paris.
The CEO of the company, Thibaud Simphal, told Le Figaro newspaper that the 20 percent reduction would apply from Friday onwards.
UberPool, a cheaper alternative which sees several passengers sharing rides from different locations, will see a 25 percent fare reduction between the hours of 8pm and 6am.
Uber says drivers will be guaranteed the same earnings for the first six weeks after which the California-based company expects to see the price drop offset by a spike in customers, something it had already observed after a similar move in New York.
The price reductions come just two weeks after other Parisian taxi companies unveiled plans to make their journeys cheaper.
Taxi Bleus announced a €10 cap on all night journeys, while G7 said anyone between the age of 15 and 25 could ride at a 20-percent discount.
It is also competing with Paris-based start-up Heetch, which offers cheap fares for night-owls and party goers looking to get home cheaply after a night out.
Uber's move also comes two weeks after France's highest constitutional authority dismissed Uber's challenge of a law that had banned its low-cost UberPop service – which used drivers without licenses to pick up paying customers.
The existence of UberPop has prompted violent protests by taxi drivers across France, many of whom are furious to be undercut after having to pay for their own official licenses.
In June this year, some Uber passengers were even targeted, including one high profile incident that left US rockstar Courtney Love blasting the French president after being caught up in the melee in Paris.
Uber has become one of the world's most valuable startups, worth an estimated $50 billion (€44.5 billion), as it has expanded to more than 50 countries.