Tag Archives: Europe

Your Guide To Uber Protests In Cities Across Europe

Thousands of protesters in cities across Europe took to the streets against ride sharing services such as Uber this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The protests were led by taxi drivers, who complain that Uber, which allows users to hail private cabs through a smart phone app, is undercutting their business by getting around regulations and using unlicensed drivers.

Thousands of cabs flooded the streets of cities such as London, Paris and Madrid, causing traffic to slow to a halt. Here’s a look at the protests.

london uber2

Courtesy of @JoannaUK

London: In the largest of all the demonstrations, the Journal writes that London cabs filled the street of Trafalgar Square causing traffic jams for much of the afternoon on Wednesday.

London’s transportation agency put the number of cabs blocking traffic between 4,000 and 5,000, but others said there were as many as 12,000 cabs honking horns and holding signs in protest of smartphone-based ride companies. London cabbies are especially effected by the introduction of Uber as the company announced customers can use the app to hail black cabs, not just private drivers, according to CNET. The demonstrations may have hurt the protestors’ cause though, as downloads of the Uber app were up 850 percent compared to last Wednesday, likely due to the attention, CNET writes.

london uber

London, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

Paris: Parisians also dealt with poor traffic as about 1,200 taxi cabs flooded the Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports in an effort to block private cars from picking up travelers, according to SF Gate. The demonstration brought nearly the entire city to a crawl, causing a 120-mile traffic jam with most of the city’s 15,000 cabs on strike. Continue reading

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The Challenge Of Luring Young Car Buyers Spreads To Europe

By Micheline Maynard

We’ve all heard a lot about the difficulties that American auto companies are having in attracting buyers under age 35. It seems the problem is just as acute in Europe.

The electric BMW i3.

According to the New York Times, carmakers there are hoping that technological innovations will be the key to getting younger buyers into automobiles. But it’s an even tougher sell, given Europe’s wide transit network, the popularity of bicycling, the availability of bike sharing and governments’ green policies.

Auto sales in Europe are down 20 percent this year, and have fallen even more in the most troubled economies. Without young buyers, economists are concerned that European carmakers may never achieve their sales peaks again.

“There are products that are hipper for young people than cars,” Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, a professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen in northern Germany and an industry analyst, told the Times. “The car companies are still using the old marketing pitch — more horsepower. That doesn’t speak to young people any more.” Continue reading

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