Does Uber work in Paris?

Do you love using Uber and you´re about to travel to Paris, France? You´re probably wondering if Uber works there and if they do, what to keep in mind while using their service.




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Eggs and flour: a vehicle belonging to a Uber driver was trashed by protesting taxi drivers. Source: Wikipedia

First of all: As you might have heard, Uber in France has been in a lot of trouble. French taxi drivers sure didn´t take the US disruptor coming to their turf lightly. In France tires have been burned and cars flipped for less and French taxi drivers´ reaction to competition wasn´t any less fierce this time either. French taxi companies have a strong lobby and ties to the ruling socialist party. They want the government to shut down “unlicensed competition”.

In the summer of 2015 French taxi drivers´ rage escalated to the point where taxi drivers were burning tires, flipping cars and even beating up passengers who chose Uber over their service. Probably the most famous situation took place when Courtney Love´s Uber ride from Charles De Gaulle airport was surrounded by protesting taxi drivers for some time.

Current state of affairs is that Uber has been trying to patch it´s image among frenchmen with a huge ad campaign in the country´s biggest cities. It´s French executive Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty has faced charges of violating local transportation laws and is currently waiting the verdict.

But does the service actually work there now? Yes it does. What has been illegal for some time now is the Uber Pop, company´s ride sharing service run by unlicensed drivers. It has been replaced by Uber X, a service that meets local For-hire Vehicle rules and regulations. Actually Uber offers several different services in Paris in addition to Uber X: Uber Pool (for ride sharing with strangers), Uber Van (bigger van) and UberBERLINE (fancier car).

So you´re more than welcome to take it easy and ride Uber while in Paris, without being afraid of being ripped off by traditional taxi drivers.

Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber has been able to launch in France despite of heavy bureaucracy and protests.

Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber has been able to launch in France despite of heavy bureaucracy and protests.

Actually, by using Uber in Paris you might be contributing to well-deserved social change. According to a story by the Financial Times Uber has become a way out of unemployment and poverty for younger generation in notoriously poor and restless Paris suburbs. People that used to hang out at a local mall every day are now founding new transportation businesses (remember that Uber X drivers are licensed) all over the place. They love driving a nice car, wearing a suit to work, driving around Paris talking to clients, like one young man from the banlieues (French for suburbs) tells in the FT story. It has even been said that Uber has opened previously unseen connection between suburban people and wealthier inner city dwellers.

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/27/uber-ordered-pay-france-national-union-taxis-paris-court

http://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-plans-big-advertising-campaign-in-france-1457462344

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