22 février 2014

Rules of the road

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRP4qIrraW46oa4crCboqTzadd3IE4yTumRAbMvuvR527xT31xml_tozi4By Brian Keeley. Visitors to Paris may have noticed that it can be hard to find a taxi. Lately, there have been days when it was impossible. The explanation? A strike.
Before you roll your eyes, it’s worth taking a moment to hear what’s riling the taxi-drivers. Yes, in many ways this feels like the sort of dispute we’re used to around here – shouting, blocked streets, frustrated travellers. But it also reflects issues that are playing out in many other parts of the world and that can be summed up in a word: regulation.
The roots of the dispute date back to 2009, when France licensed a new sort of taxi, a “passenger vehicle with chauffeur,” or VTC. These VTCs operate under rules similar to those covering “mini-cabs” in the United Kingdom: You can call one to pick you up at home, but – unlike a regular taxi – you can’t hail one in the street. More...

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