Out with Uber: Bogota cab drivers protest ride sharing service

World Today

Out with Uber: Bogota cab drivers protest ride sharing service

It’s the world’s most popular car service, and used in more than 100 countries. Although Uber is illegal in Colombia, the company is still operating – and thriving.

Now taxi drivers are rallying against the ride-sharing giant.

CGTN’s Michelle Begue has the story from Bogota.

Out with Uber: Bogota cab drivers protest ride sharing service

It’s the world’s most popular car service, and used in more than 100 countries. Although Uber is illegal in Colombia, the company is still operating – and thriving. Now taxi drivers are rallying against the ride-sharing giant. CGTN’s Michelle Begue has the story from Bogota.

Men and women in Colombia are protesting what they call unfair competition from the San Francisco-based transportation app. In Bogota alone, thousands of yellow taxis are leading the protest.

“We are legal and we are fighting and asking the government to do something about these law breakers.  We have families who are starving,” taxi driver Libardo Bustos said.

Taxi drivers argued Uber is operating with an unfair advantage — since its drivers don’t have to pay the high fees and taxes the government charges yellow cabs.

The drivers claim work has been reduced by 60 to 70 percent because of the app’s competition.

“We are more than 80,000 families that have children, that pay all the services, taxes, everything! And Uber doesn’t have to pay anything,” said taxi driver Manuel Paes.

Since the arrival of Uber to the country three years ago, the government has struggled with efforts to regulate its operations.

After Uber refused to register as a formal company in Colombia, the ride service was deemed illegal – but the government has stopped short of blocking or banning the app.

Uber said it’s not an employer but rather a “partner” of its drivers and is therefore exempt from transportation fees and regulations.

While the Uber app has caused controversy and protests among traditional cab drivers, public demand for Uber remains strong.