Taxis vs. VTC: What’s going on abroad

Taxis VTC: what's going on abroad

The California government has just allowed cars with drivers to drive customers in the same way as licensed taxis. In Brussels or Vancouver, VTC must charge a minimum price.

Taxi drivers are mobilizing to defend their profession. The profession, which is very regulated in France, is facing the development of the companies of chauffeur driven (VTC) vehicles, a new competition that owes its rise to new technologies. But France is not the only country where the issue of liberalization of the profession arises. In the United States , some states have already taken the plunge. Other models are applied in cities such as Vancouver or Brussels.

In most industrialized countries, the profession remains strictly supervised: taxi drivers must hold a license and their vehicles must meet certain criteria. A means for States to ensure the safety of passengers but also to control the number of taxis in circulation.

Paris limits to less than 20,000 the number of taxis in circulation and counts less than 12,000 cars with driver (VTC). Thus, Paris has fewer than 4 drivers per 1,000 inhabitants, compared with nearly 5 in Berlin, 9 in London, 11 in New York and 17 in Stockholm … These discrepancies are explained in particular by the different policies put in place in front of the arrival Cars with driver (VTC).

In California, full and rapid market liberalization

In California , the authorities have opted for a full and rapid liberalization of the sector. In the state of Silicon Valley, the VTC companies that have grown through the emergence of new technologies have won the tug of war between them and the taxi industry.

Since October last year and after ten months of debate, the California government has allowed cars with driver to drive customers as licensed taxis . Several founders of groups of cars with driver of which a Frenchman, Geoffroy Mathieux, worked at the end of this monopoly of the Californian taxis. “In the era of the Internet and smartphones, the lobby of taxis can no longer hold,” recently told us French Tickengo founders, a platform that connects drivers and customers, and counts Xavier Niel to his capital.

In London and New York, complementary offers

In London , as soon as the phones arrived, the Public Carriage Office allowed mini-taxis (minicabs) to compete freely with taxis (blackcabs) in the telephone market. But minicabs or VTCs are not allowed to do the marauding, reserved area of taxis. The two actors therefore each have their own field of intervention. According to a study by Richard Darbéra, CNRS researcher, London has almost 25,000 taxis as well as 44,000 “minicabs” who work in nearly 2,000 small businesses.

In New York , nearly 15,000 taxis and about 60,000 VTC transport the users and the city counts nearly 950 telephone exchanges. And as in London, in the big apple, VTCs are only available on reservation and only taxis have the right to take customers who hail them on the street or who wait for them at the stations.

In Brussels or Vancouver, minimum rates for VTC

To resolve the conflict between taxis and cars with drivers, some cities preferred to set minimum rates for VTCs in advance. Thus, in Brussels, the price of the minimum race is 90 euros, it is 75 Canadian dollars in Vancouver.

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