Taxi drivers refuse to back down following week of protests

in News · 27-09-2018 10:12:00 · 0 Comments
Taxi drivers refuse to back down following week of protests

Taxi drivers in Lisbon, Porto and Faro have this week carried out a wave of protest action against a new law set to come into effect in November, dubbed the ‘Uber Law’, regulating ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Cabify

The country’s taxi drivers started their action last week Wednesday, and this Wednesday, for the eighth day straight, were still staging disruptive action to get their message of discontent across.
From north to south of the country, taxi drivers caused a commotion by staging go-slows on main roads, such as the Algarve’s EN125, Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade and Porto’s Aliados Avenue; blocking roads, sleeping in their cars, and even having picnics on a main airport road in a busy city.
One expat, resident in Albufeira, who had to collect a relative from Faro airport on Saturday evening, told The Portugal News: “On the way there, on the main road to the airport, we had to divert onto a small slip-road as the taxi drivers were parked on the main road, two-abreast, and some had even got small picnic tables out and were sitting there having a bite to eat.
“At the airport the queues for taxis and buses were huge as there were no taxis”.

In the country’s second biggest city, Porto, over 200 taxi drivers slept in their vehicles overnight on Tuesday, on one of the main avenues.
The drivers were also planning to hold a protest march on Wednesday afternoon outside parliament, where a plenary debate will be held in the presence of the Prime Minister António Costa.
Cabbies are protesting against a new law regulating ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Cabify.
The drivers have said there is “no end date” to their action, and pledged they will “protest until the new law is suspended”.
Carlos Ramos, head of the National Taxi Federation, stressed that what taxi drivers want is “balance” between “one sector that is limited” and another that is “completely liberalised”.
“We are not scared of competition, what we want is balance” he said, insisting on the need to set quotas for [app] platform vehicles, “just as there are for taxis”, mainly in terms of licensing.



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