Photo via Uber
Photo via Uber

Taxi drivers in Europe are refusing to pick up passengers and instead have parked their cars in the streets to protest one of the fastest-growing private tech companies in the world.

The drivers hailing from London, Madrid, Paris and other cities are angry with transportation services like Uber — as well as the existing regulations in place — because they must adhere to strict pricing and licensing requirements, while those from Uber aren’t subject to similar laws.

The protests are causing quite the traffic jam in London:

Via Google Maps.
Via Google Maps.

uberxThe Next Web notes how Uber has actually seen a 850 percent increase in signups today, thanks to all the attention on the company. Coincidentally, Uber also used the day of protests to launch UberTAXI in London, a service that will bring Uber’s platform to London’s Black Taxis — its fourth offering in the city.

San Francisco-based Uber is fresh off a whopping $1.2 billion round that it raised last week at a $17 billion valuation — the most-ever for a private tech company. The four-year-old company is now operating in in 128 cities in 37 countries.

Meanwhile in Seattle, negotiations are ongoing between taxi industry stakeholders, those from Lyft and Uber, in addition to City officials. Mayor Ed Murray brought together the groups in order to reach a new regulatory agreement that will allow Uber and Lyft to operate in Seattle legally.

Sources tell us that an agreement is “close,” but there appear to be a few kinks to be worked out. Murray had previously said that if no deal was reached by Monday, he’d issue a cease-and-desist to Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. It’s Wednesday, and that has not happened yet.

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  • Guest

    Is it any wonder that Europe has decayed into little more than a tourist trap for well-heeled American and Chinese tourists? When any technological innovation is met with mealy-mouthed protests and walkouts, I think we can write the continent off as a collection of men who believe society peaked 500 years ago. Heck, many of their countries still have kings and queens!

    • t.

      What are you talking about? Here in Seattle there are similar protests that might shut down uber at any time. Already there are regulations on the number of uber cars that passed last month.

  • beautiful irony

    “Uber has actually seen a 850 percent increase in signups today, thanks to all the attention on the company.” Love it.

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    Mayor Murray is trying to put together a bogus agreement that will allow UberX and Lyft to flood the streets with their vehicles because he does not want to follow through on his promise to issue a Cease and Desist order. But while Murray has been ironing out his kinks, the small cab operators who were not invited to the Mayor’s roundtable filed a lawsuit earlier this week to invalidate the Uber/Lyft referendum.

    It is not suprising that Taylor Soper, boy reporter, forgot to mention this. But it was reported by Goldy.

    In a few weeks, the UberX/Lyft referendum will be declared invalid by the court. The law passed by the Seattle City Council and signed by the Mayor will immediately go into effect. UberX and clones will then have to get real insurance for their cars and their drivers will have to obtain for hire licenses.

  • Hartford CT Taxi

    This is so amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. I really appreciate it. Very inspirational.
    Cromwell CT taxi

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