Taxi protest in Paris turns to guerrilla warfare as Uber car attacked on freeway

Taxi protest in Paris turns to guerrilla warfare as Uber car attacked on freeway

Update 12:06PM – A second incident of an Uber car being attacked by up to 20 men has been reported by Bertier Luyt, confirmed by Uber. 

Update 12:16PM – no less than a dozen confirmed incidents in Paris & Lyon, including “flat tires, eggs, broken windows,” confirms Uber.

The right to protest has always been powerfully upheld in France – whether it’s protesting an immigrant’s right to healthcare, the closing of a factory, or even Taxis, who have perfected the art of making their voice heard; however, how much is too much?

It seems that protest turned to guerrilla warfare this morning as one Uber driver, carrying Eventbrite CTO Renaud Visage & Kat Borlongan from the airport to Paris, was attacked by multiple assailants, who allegedly, after smashing one window and slashing two tires (as seen in the photo), as well as defacing one side of the car with glue, attempted to enter the vehicle. Borlongan says their Uber driver manoeuvered the two out of the situation before anything could happen, leaving the three stranded on the shoulder of the freeway.

1011996_10151874695818837_1562314432_n (1)“Now on the shoulder of the freeway waiting for help, freezing and with my hand bleeding from the splintered glass. Thanks for the big welcome home, Paris. ” – Kat Borlongan

There’s no confirmation that this attack came from the protesting taxi drivers; however, that certainly seems to line up with the sentiment felt by taxi drivers these days – unwarranted hate.

Update: Uber’s GM of France Pierre-Dimitry Gore-Coty has commented on the incident:

“Uber strongly condemns this morning’s incident where two of our users and our driver were confronted with severe violence.

First, we are very glad all involved are safe and ok. Also, we would like to praise our partner who has shown great courage and professionalism, who focused on getting his customers out of a very challenging situation.

That the taxis chose to use violence is unacceptable, that they chose to strike is their business. However, Parisians also have a choice when it comes to moving around in their cities, and today’s incident will certainly not tempt Parisians into choosing a taxi for their next ride. Safety, reliability and choice, not violence, are what continues to draw customers towards VTCs.”

Taxi drivers today are protesting against the likes of Uber, and against what they consider to be a government that refuses to see things their way, according to an official press release. The only problem is that this protest comes less than a month after the French government caved in to the Taxi union demands to enforce the 15-minute law, not just for new users, as was originally intended, but for all users of Chauffeur apps.

It’s a question of credibility, according to Le Figaro’s Yann La Galès, who thinks the Taxis are looking to have their cake and protest the lack of the aforementioned cake, too.

Meanwhile, one Chauffeur App startup, Allocab, says it won’t take the protest, or the 15-minute law, lying down. According to Frenchweb, the startup is already pushing legal action through against the 15-minute law – we spoke last week about how the “law,” which actually is a Presidential decree, not voted on by the legistlative body, may be ruled invalid, due to the fact that decrees cannot take affect if they change the balance of competition – I think that’s an easy argument to make.

For now, what’s left of the fleeting reputation of Taxi drivers may have just been dwindled down to nothing but shattered glass and a flat tire.


5 Responses

  1. Felix Droz

    Re : Uber
    I drove for Uber for slightly under two months and here’s what I found………….Uber is dangerous for public safety and must be shut down . Having to tap a small icon on the Uber device ( phone ) to accept, cancel, arriving, etc., and more takes your eyes completely off of the road . You are oblivious to traffic for those few seconds your looking at your Uber device which can easily cause accidents resulting in immediate death & injury . Even if you, yourself cancels the fare you must proceed with why you are cancelling to the little green icons on your Uber device and doing so is a distraction, period . There are 6 icons on your Uber device requesting why your cancelling & you must select one by tapping on one of the icons . This is frequently done while driving diverting your eyes off the traffic ahead of you and this happened often ….. the client will cancel for one reason or another . I received the cancellation notice while I was driving and while I was driving my eyes were taken off the road so I could respond to the beeping sound coming from my Uber device . This beeping sound indicates that the client has cancelled the fare . When getting close to the pick up location while driving you are required to notify the client by again having to locate your Uber device ( some of the drivers keep it on their lap ) then tapping on an “ arriving “ icon. This is more dangerous then texting .
    Furthermore, there is no time limit to driving . Unlike Taxi drivers who are limited to a ten hour driving period in, San Francisco an Uber driver can drive for 20 hours straight or more . Too much driving creates fatigue often leading to confusion, , falling asleep, hallucinations, dozing off and considerably more inattentiveness which can cause accidents resulting in injury and even death .
    Being an Uber driver means you are subjected to doing unlawful things such as take eight passengers in your car when there are only four seat belts or you will lose you’re right to drive further for Uber . In my case I got a call to take nine passengers, including myself that which would have been ten people total all in a mini van . The weight itself is enough to cause my tires to rub against the wheel wells of my van creating sparks from stones trapped in the threading of my tires which could ignite the fuel tank causing an explosion even killing all those passengers that are trapped inside my mini Van . It was dangerous . That much weight often causes unintentional swerving resulting in another accident with more deaths or injuries . Because I didn’t take all nine passengers out to, Isla Vista from downtown Santa Barbara and only took the legal amount of five ( six including myself ) the passengers gave me a one rating . So, over safety concerns I was terminated from driving for doing what was lawfully right and after I explained to my, Santa Barbara – Uber representatives via email numerous times about having to take too many passengers creating unsafe driving conditions so I could be reinstated i received no response . I was then blocked from driving further for Uber . You are rated after each fare by your passenger(s) from one to five and if your rating is too low you will be blocked from driving . This causes drivers to do unlawful things in order to maintain a high rating or their driving privileges with Uber will be suspended . You must also drop your passenger off at the designated location the client(s) request creating the impeding of traffic or sudden stopping so you won’t miss the client(s) destination and if you don’t you will be graded on your performance from 1 to 5 and in most all cases you will be given the lowest rating such as a “ one “ and you will be blocked from driving . So, refusing to take all nine passengers ( 10 including myself ) because it is unlawful , dangerous and of a safety concern to your passengers and yourself is a reason your account will be permanently suspended by Uber .
    There are no vehicle inspections required by Uber drivers meaning if your car’s brakes are failing or wipers not working it’s still OK to drive in the rain . Does Uber care your brakes are failing or wipers aren’t working ? Probally not . They just want their 20% share of your fare and will claim no responsibility if your involved in an accident because they will say your an independent driver . Then if a claim is put against the driver’s insurance Company that claim will be denied because you were using the vehicle commercially . It is illegal to use your vehicle commercially unless you get commercial registration and insurance . Uber drivers do not have commercial insurance and probally most don’t get commercial registration for their vehicles or the proper insurances so driving commercially for Uber is technically illegal . Not getting commercial plates and insurance means the loss of millions of dollars for California .
    Syed Muzzafar , an Uber driver killed a little girl, Sopfia Liu age 6 in, San Francisco on New Years eve . We don’t know what really happened but here’s a guy working for pennies on the dollar that managed to make his over a $300,000 bail for manslaughter . It would seem to me that, Google bailed him out as” hush ” money because they don’t want him talking & after he’s out he will be represented by Google’s Attorneys . The finest money can buy all the while he keeps his mouth shut .
    California needs to set precedence for our great State and Nation by stopping Uber before another tragedy & more childrens lives are taken . I need your help .

    Felix Jerry Droz
    P.O. Box 941 Summerland, Ca. 93067

  2. property tax assessment

    The problem is that regular taxpayers, like you, are missing out on legal and safe deductions, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed refunds every year! As a tax professional, it truly breaks my heart, knowing that just a few thousand, or even a few hundred bucks for us “regular guys” out of that vast pool of overcharging could make a world of difference–and they are just sitting there, unclaimed! And with the economy we’re facing now…it’s essential that the “right” professional handles your taxes, books, or other financial matters.

  3. abebe

     “”Back to topproperty tax assessmentFebruary 1, 2014ReplyThe problem is that regular taxpayers, like you, are missing out on legal and safe deductions, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed refunds every year! As a tax professional, it truly breaks my heart, knowing….””

    (My friend you only look one way the cab drivers spend a lot of money for gas, part, buying new car, and so on. from robbery their life is in danger .why this smart app company like uber why they don’t work with cab drivers, the drivers looking for a job new year or busy day they will love to work if they make double when busy day.

  4. pegr

    Hey Felix! That’s some a-number-one class A bullhockey you’ve got there! Next time, try to tone it down so it’s not so obvious you are a taxi-driving shill. Trolling is an art, my friend. Less is more.

    • R.H. Omea

      No isht pegr! I sure hope there’s a pony under that mountain of horsepucky!!
      The fact is that the standard issue Parisian union cab driver has many electronic devices beeping at them demanding attention (and a reply) if they are from taxis bleue, G7, etc already. So one device for Uber is LESS distracting. Likewise it is quite rare to get a union taxi driver who knows their way around paris without using a GPS, whihc more often than not, they enter addresses while driving. Don’t even get me started on the 7-8€ they charge to drive around the block on an Phone App call when the taxi stand is only 1 minutes drive away!!
      And I’ve never had an Uber driver who allowed too many ppl in his cab or behaved in any untoward manner, while I’ve had several of the “protected status” drivers attempt drive-arounds when they heard my accent and deemed me a target for some extra costs.

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