Homo Ludditus

Less is more and nothing is good enough


In bolshevik France, make sure you don’t call a menshevik taxi

There is no such thing as free competition anywhere on this planet, and the taxi business makes no exception. A taxi license is very expensive and such licenses are issued in limited numbers, so in France there are alternatives to the traditional taxis, in the form of the on-demand-only taxi and car rental with driver services such as LeCab.

Bolshevism strikes back. Uber, LeCab And Others Now Have To Wait 15 Minutes Before Picking You Up In France:

At first, it was just an idea, but this bill is now very real — urban transportation services like Uber and LeCab will now have to wait 15 minutes in France before letting a customer in the car. Back in October, the French government mentioned this piece of legislation as these new services would hurt traditional cab drivers. But nothing was set in stone until the AFP spotted the new bill today — and this news comes as a surprise.

I suppose we can understand the frustration of the traditional taxi companies or of the independent taxi drivers, but how about customers’ interest? Businesses should adapt to the new realities instead of asking for protectionist measures from the authorities.

Last week, the Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence) even wrote that the 15-minute delay was a bad idea.

“This competitive imbalance is not necessary to protect the taxi monopoly on this market. Moreover, it potentially contradicts the objective to improve free traffic flow,” the report says.

But all of this was for nothing as the new 15-minute rule will be enforced on January 1st 2014. Without any warning, the new bill was published today.

On average, it takes 7 minutes for a so-called black car to come and pick you up in France. What will happen? Will the driver wait in the car on the side of the road?

SnapCar CEO Dave Ashton:

In America, religious people often walk around with wristbands that say “WWJD” on them (“What Would Jesus Do?”). For SnapCar, it’s “WWMW” (“What Would Mom Want?”). It works like this: if Manuel Valls’* mother books a SnapCar and wants to leave in two hours, she’ll leave in two hours. If Manuel Valls’ mother wants to leave in 5 minutes, will we leave her standing on the street corner in the rain for ten more? What would Manuel Valls’ mother want? or what would Manuel Valls want for his mother?

*Manuel Valls is the French Minister of the Interior

5 thoughts on “In bolshevik France, make sure you don’t call a menshevik taxi

    1. Béranger Post author

      Ideea e că eu sunt așa, mai socialist, cu o doză de anarhism… daaar… în multe privințe, sunt de părere că dacă e competiție, atunci să fie competiție. Cu ce drept se limitează numărul taxiurilor, al farmaciilor, al notarilor, al avocaților? (Ce, limitează careva numărul cofetarilor? Nu, doar piața o face.) De remarcat că astfel de limitări nu sunt toate impuse de „puterea publică”, ci adesea vin in istorie, căci „breslele” au căutat încă din evul mediu să se „protejeze” de concurență.

  1. Matt

    I really don’t understand why some people are so against Lyft and Uber services when they are cheaper alternatives to taxis. Using Lyft myself, I truly see value in the whole ridesharing program. And if you use the promo code THEROW2 on your Lyft app you can even get a free $20 in Lyft driving credits wherever you want to go and hopefully see what I mean and get a little perspective :)


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