A caravan of angry taxi drivers gridlocked downtown Washington DC this Wednesday. The source of their anger? Ride-sharing services such as Lyft, Uber and Sidecar.
Cab drivers all over the world have been protesting these new ride-sharing services claiming they have an unfair advantage over traditional taxi drivers. Cabbies must follow strict regulations and require special licensing to operate. Regulations on ride-sharing apps are still being decided and at best, a gray area.
Wednesday's gridlock has been the newest form of protest from the taxi-industry and it wasn't just in DC. Drivers in London, Paris, Madrid and Berlin brought traffic to crawl earlier this month, honking their horns and waving signs denouncing the local transportation agency and taxi apps.
Wednesday's protest shows that cab drivers will not back down and raises concern as to just how far they will go. Considering that some of these protests have gotten violent, the question now is how (and how quickly) regulators will respond. Driver's voices have been heard in some areas including Virginia, who recently issued a cease and desist letter to Lyft. Where in other cities, such as Seattle, ride-sharing apps have been welcomed as competition to local taxi services.
"Authorities said Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest opened in both directions around 1 p.m. The roadway had been closed from 15th to 9th streets Northwest because of the protest. The street closure caused other delays in the downtown area. Ironically, because of the protest, some people reported difficulty hailing cabs."
Check out the Washington Post article and let us know what you think. Are these protests getting out of hand or are they warranted?