Uber vs the Taxi Monopoly in Europe

croissantI’ve rambled about this before, but today was especially fun. Thanks to the medallion buying taxi drivers stopping for their croissants on French highways, Paris and it’s suburbs saw 300 kilometers of traffic jams. This is what’s known in French as a vrai bordel. In classic French fashion, strikers brought Paris to a standstill, and the evening news brought images of caffeinated taxi drivers trying to block even the scooters and motorcycles from passing their automotive barricades. (Cue la marseillaise…)

According to The Independent, Uber in the UK saw an 850% increase in demand today. Can you chuckle on a blog? I would love to know what the increase was in Paris, but that little fact is unlikely to be reported here. So I wanted to write a little note to all the taxi drivers that read my blog.

Dear Taxi Driver,

I feel your pain. Driving in Paris sucks.

Competition is unfair, you’re job is left unprotected, and it’s obvious that uncontrolled mayhem will break out if exagerated fares aren’t kept solidly above market levels. But dear sir, I humbly wonder whether Uber riders simply can’t afford your services? They’d be taking the train if Uber wasn’t there for them, not your taxi, so maybe it’s the SNCF that should be striking. (Oh sorry, yes, they were, but for other reasons.)

I love paying 60 Euros to get to Charles de Gaulle by car, and then only 35  to get to Gatwick by plane. I’m happy to do my part… And it’s a pleasure to pass 2 hours in the back of your polished Prius, admittedly I have more leg-room than on EZJet, but I’m also paying more.

Good luck with your show of force, but I for one, believe that if Uber (and it’s technology) can offer better service, at a lower fare, while at the same time reducing the smog in Paris, your days are numbered.

Veuillez agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l’assurance de mes sentiments respectueux.