Government-backed law to require 15-minute delay on smartphone ride services irks Parisians

Government-backed law to require 15-minute delay on smartphone ride services irks Parisians


In the past week, the French Government has come out in favor of a law that would require VTC (véhicule de tourisme avec chauffeur, namely, non Taxi chauffeurs) to have a minimum 15-minute delay between time of reservation and time of pick up. The announcement provoked a response from SnapCar co-founder Dave Ashton this week, “an open letter to taxi authorities” in which he accused taxi authorities of overdramatizing the impact of VTCs on Taxis. According to Ashton, the ration of all VTCs – Uber, SnapCar, Chauffeur Privé, or otherwise – to Taxis is about 1 to 15, pointing out the weakness in the “unfair competition” that Taxi groups like G7 have suggested of VTCs.

French startup Heycrowd is conducting a survey of its users’ reactions to the recently proposed law, as well as their opinions of smartphone-based ride services in comparison to taxis. Certainly worth a look:


The survey points out some of the more accurate discontent that users have with taxi drivers, namely the ongoing problem of taxi drivers’ unwillingness to accept debit cards, due to the charges they face on top of them. Just 1/5th of survey respondents have used a “smartphone controlled chauffeur,” while 73% say their presence in the market is good for users.

The law’s proposal and subsequent backing has got many people questioning the role of the government in such a matter, as well as the overwhelming influence that labor unions (in French, syndicats) have over the judicial system. While the economic crisis has weakened labor unions (if only because there are less people employed, and, thus, less people for them to represent), the fact remains that, if corporations are the puppetmasters of the US government, then it’s the labor unions here in France who pull the strings.

You too can give your thoughts on the Taxi war in Paris by taking the survery here

4 Responses

  1. Economie NOuvelle
  2. William

    En tant que consommateur, il y a-t-il un site dans le style de où l’on pourrait faire porter notre voix contre ce lobby qui protège 17 000 taxis contre 2.2m de parisiens?

  3. ParisExpat

    Encore des histoires de la France éternelle…éternellement sclérosé. Que de la sympathie pour des entrepreneurs comme Jean Marc Sibade et Michel Olivier de feu Easy Take, sacrifiés sur l’autel de des lobbies de les sociétés de transport antédiluviennes.

  4. Peter

    What’s pathetic is that this kind of thing happens EVERY day in France, across the EU, North America, and elsewhere. It’s called cronyism — governments giving special favors to special interest groups. Instead of consistently standing up for the principles of equal opportunity and liberty, it’s only when these things impact your average person does anyone start to care. And the same people who are outraged over the possible 15 minute delay today will likely be the same people who eagerly take some other unfair advantage in the future. It’s an especially acute problem in France and a sad commentary on the state of the world.

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