New French law could force Uber drivers to return home after every fare
If you’re at a party and the host stops offering you drinks, it’s a subtle hint that it’s probably time to make tracks. Similarly, France is making it very clear that it isn’t too keen on ride-sharing apps like Uber, to the point where its senate is proposing a law making it as difficult as humanly possible for the service to operate. In the law, which will be voted on by the National Assembly in the fall, drivers would be required to return to their company headquarters or homes between each and every job. As well as that, those same cars wouldn’t be able to publish their location online, meaning that consumers won’t be able to hail the cab closest to them from their smartphone.
The wider story, of course, is that taxi firms benefit from a state-sponsored monopoly for hailing a cab on the street. Because apps like Uber blur the line between a pre-booked reservation and waving your arm in the street, you only have to wait a short time before your car arrives. By forcing the drivers to return “home” after a fare — which could be a long way if the driver lives outside of the city — the costs for each journey would be come financially and environmentally prohibitive. Liberté, égalité and fraternité? Maybe not in Uber’s case.