France test drives plan to stop taxi wars

Lidwien van Dixhoorn

France's road war between highly regulated taxis and private hire cars could wind down soon as Prime Minister Manuel Valls is given a report today on how to reinvent the business.


Parliament member Thomas Thévenoud has created a 30-point plan that is based on two main ideas: more regulations for private hire cars, known as VTCs and modernise France's fleet of 55,000 traditional taxis. 

Under the plan, clients would be able to geolocalise available cabs in their area on a smartphone.

Payment by debit or credit card would also become widespread practice and there would be a set airport price.

The report also suggests taxi should all be the same neutral colour to make them more recognisable. 

But, there is some bad news for private hire cars, and for companies like Uber who are trying to strike it big in Paris. 

The two-month long ban on issuing new licenses will remain and they will not be allowed to use the geolocalisation technology.

Earlier this year, Parisian taxis went on strike to protest against the competitive edge of private hire cars who do not have pay hefty license fees - just the price of the vehicle - and can be reserved online.

MP Thévenoud has had two months since February to quell the conflict, and his proposal is aimed at appeasing both sides. 

The proposal will first be presented to the prime minister, before being tabled before the National Assembly.

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