Taxi drivers in Copenhagen demonstrate against Uber

They demand the same rules apply to everyone providing commercial carpooling services

Uber drivers are private people who provide carpooling services (photo: iStock) Uber drivers are private people who provide carpooling services (photo: iStock)
February 14th, 2016 11:30 am| by Lucie Rychla

Taxi drivers in Copenhagen demonstrated yesterday against the ride-hailing company Uber, reports Metroxpress.

The protests started at 9 pm, when around 300 taxi drivers blocked Kongens Nytorv, one of the city’s central squares, to protest against the controversial practices of the US company.

“We want to highlight in a peaceful way that we all should have the same rules,” said Nadim Rasool, a taxi driver who initiated the protest, according to Metroxpress.

“If they can drive around without paying taxes, then taxi drivers should also be allowed not to pay them.”

READ MORE: SKAT looking into tax changes for Airbnb, Uber and other sharing economy services

Cheaper, but illegal
Uber provides carpooling services, where a private person picks customers up in a private car and takes them to their destination for much less than what they would have to pay to a licensed taxi driver.

The service is cheaper because Uber drivers do not pay taxes and insurance required for taxi drivers.

“It is understandable that people choose the cheapest alternative, but the reason Uber drivers are so cheap is because they don’t follow the law,” Søren H. Nicolaisen, the chairman of the Danish association of taxi drivers, told TV2.

“They don’t pay the taxes and insurance we do. We could be as cheap as Uber if we didn’t follow the law.”

READ MORE: Transport company Uber defiant despite police warnings

New rules for Uber customers
On 19 November 2014, the Danish Transport and Construction Agency reported Uber to the police because the company lacks necessary permits required for taxi services.

According to Nicolaisen, Danish taxi drivers have filed over 800 complaints against Uber since the company entered the Danish market 15 months ago, but only three people have been charged.

Three weeks ago, French taxi unions staged nationwide protests against Uber, which escalated in violence, with over 1,200 taxi drivers blocking streets and causing massive traffic jams.