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kerouac Feb 6th, 2008 04:33 AM

Beware of taxi strikes in France
If you are coming to France any time soon, you may find yourself faced with a taxi strike. There was one last week and there is another one today. Not only has this removed about 65% of the taxis from service throughout the country, but the striking taxis have been blocking major thoroughfares and expressways at certains times of day.

<b> Why is this happening? </b>

The government named a commission to find ways to liberalise the French economy, and one of the things in the commission's report was to add massive numbers of taxis in Paris and other cities.

Each city in France has a set number of taxis (14,700 for Paris, I think), and to operate a taxi, you much purchase one of the existing licences. The going rate for these is 200,000&euro; ($296,000) and it is pretty much considered to be the taxi drivers' retirement fund.

Whenever taxis are added to a city, the value of the licenses goes down, hence the outrage of the taxi drivers at the moment.

No definite decisions have been made yet, but the taxi drivers are very mobilized and can go on strike again and again and again if they remain annoyed...

Padraig Feb 6th, 2008 05:36 AM

kerouac wrote: &quot;the taxi drivers are very mobilized&quot;

Good choice of words.

Christina Feb 6th, 2008 09:36 AM

yeah, the taxi drivers were on strike where I live last week or so also (Wash DC). I think most cities have a limited number of taxis they allow to have licenses. Taxis are a little nuisance in a big city in that they contribute to the pollution and congestion, of course (although are better than people driving themselves, that's for sure). However, where I live, they can also cause problems because they block traffic a lot because they drive really slowly looking for fares and other stuff.

Where I live, they are striking because the city changed to a meter system from a flat fare system. Only the flat fares were related to some special taxi boundaries within the city on a map that nobody knows unless you use them a lot and live here. So you never know if you are being ripped off or not. The taxi drivers obviously think they are going to lose income when a meter shows the actual fare or they wouldn't have gone on strike. I don't think anyone was that impresed with their strike. I do admit I think they didn't want to pay to have the meter installed, also, so I give them that. I think they are also complaining because the new rates were dropped to $3 just to start the cab, and were going to be $4. That is a very high taxi rate just to start the meter, I think (I know it's only around 2 euro in Paris).

bozama Feb 6th, 2008 10:10 AM

WEll thank goodness metro isn't striking ,, and there are always the velos, LOL

kerouac Feb 6th, 2008 10:53 AM

Wow -- it was a very quick strike.

The government already caved in tonight. No more taxi problems.

kerouac Feb 6th, 2008 10:56 AM

(The fact that Sarkozy dropped 13% in the opinion polls in just one month is probably a factor in this, even if a few points were due to the elderly not appreciating his sexual escapades.)

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