No more grumbling for taxis in Paris
by FFE EU News staff
The shortage of taxis has always been a bane to Parisian revellers. To address this problem, the French government has just proposed to give 1,000 free licences in exchange for cab drivers working during peak times such as Friday and Saturday nights.
The new horde of late-night taxis is set to ply ‘Petite Couronne’ – an area including Paris and its surrounding suburbs. As of now, 17,500 licenced cabs operate in this area.
The proposal, announced by Interior minister Manuel Valls and minister for Trades, Commerce and Tourism Sylvia Pinel, is set to benefit locals and tourists who have a hard time hailing taxis at peak hours. However, taxi union members are not too keen on the idea.
Union of taxi drivers (CSAT) leader Christian Delomel said that drivers cannot be forced to work on the evenings or weekends. Rather, it was better to encourage them to optimise taxi supply during the peak periods.
In addition, Delomel was concerned about the unfairness of the free licences, as ‘Today a taxi licence resells for around €230,000 and constitutes part of a taxi driver’s pension. Giving away licences is a dangerous act because we cannot take them away again and increasing them could reduce the quality of service.’
The French government however plans to hold talks with taxi unions and city authorities to find the best solution to the taxi shortage.