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30th June 2015 |

Are Uber running, or even swimming, before they can walk?


It has been a bumpy road for Uber of late, with France all but declaring war on the company, whilst they also attempt to branch out in to a new market and method of delivery in Istanbul. But now things have declined further with the CEO of Uber France and the GM of Uber Europe both being thrown in the slammer by the Police Nationale.

The company announced last week that they would be implementing waterway taxis, along the stretches of water in Istanbul where Asia meets Europe. However this was somewhat marred by the fact that a bunch of vigilante taxi drivers took to rioting in the streets of France, overturning Uber vehicles, creating burning road blocks and attacking the drivers and even passengers! Not quite the way to bring back lost custom and all that was really missing was shouts of Viva le France.

This isn’t the first time Uber have come under fire, with similar protest in London by Black Cab drivers earlier in the year. Uber’s influx of cheaper competitors, who are less stringently regulated, if at all, who also pay less in taxes, is threatening to deem the traditional taxi driver obsolete.

Something the French have been investigating since last year, although nothing as of yet has come of it. However after the Uber CEO and GM were invited in to answer some questions under their own accord, they were promptly arrested in an, ahem, uncharacteristically sneaky move by the French.

The French police have filed two charges against them:-

  • That Uber is running an illegal taxi service
  • And that the company has been withholding or hiding documents

As the plot thickens, the French Interior Minister has instructed French police to stop and fine any Uber drivers in an attempt to quell the next French Revolutione.
At Walton Bridge Garage we have to say that Uber has, for us at least, been a great addition to life. Not only is it clever and innovative, but also quick and convenient, oh and cheaper. All the ingredients needed for a modern success. We can see why traditional taxi drivers may be opposed but like everything in life, the art to staying successful is to pivot with the times and adapt to change.

We’ve seen it in the retail sector, the travel sector, even the property sector to name but a few.

Technology is not only here to stay but by tomorrow it has already evolved and created a new opportunity. If you don’t want to accept that then so be it. But as far as we can see, the only place for a Black Cab in the future, is in a museum as a tourist attraction.

Harsh but true.

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