Drivers Across Europe Unite Against the Apps
Reporting from The Olympic Stadium, Berlin
11th June 2014: Thousands of taxi drivers turned out at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin today to protest against the influx of taxi booking and ride sharing apps that have flooded the global market.
Despite the wind, rain and humidity, thousands of angry drivers and fleet owners joined together to voice their objections to apps such as Uber and Wundercar. The queue of taxis stretched all the way to Tegel Airport – a clear sign of discontent. And that’s only for starters; further demonstrations took place today in London, Paris, Milan, Hamburg and across the world. Some are calling it ‘UBERGEDDON’. It was only a matter of time until this fast-moving market came to a halt.
With several car booking apps clearly breaching local regulations, drivers want the authorities to step up and enforce rules that were put in place to make passenger transport a safe and fair industry.
T Dispatch was at the demonstrations to show support for the local taxi drivers. Our Founder and Director, Bryony Cooper, commented,
“We’re completely for technological innovation, but not at the expense of the industry. These drivers and fleets need a voice. They want to be heard. There’s unrest all over the world, but so far it seems to be a losing battle. We want to give control back to the incumbents; putting professional fleets back in the driver seat.”
We believe in this cause so strongly, we founded ‘The Drivers’ Justice League’ – a worldwide organization for professional drivers. Until now, Taxi and Private Hire Associations have been local and fragmented; never before did they have a reason to unite as one. The DJL will offer a platform for the latest news, debates and solutions for drivers and fleets alike.
Bryony continued, “People love the user experience of booking apps, but they also want the same quality of service they’d expect from a licensed cab operator. Drivers should be fully insured, fully trained and compliant with industry standards.”
Taxi apps are no new phenomenon – Uber and myTaxi launched in 2010, closely followed by many others. Some are even run by existing taxi dispatchers. But only now is the battle coming to a head. It’s unlikely that this war will die down anytime soon, so we’ll have to wait and see how this develops… will it be winner takes all, or each fleet for themselves?