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Uber is facing another city ban as the French government said it was planning on blocking the use of the company’s carpooling service Uber Pop in the new year.
Taxi drivers today blocked some roads around Paris in protest against the taxi sharing app.
Uber Pop is a cheaper service to normal Uber that lets any individual sign up to become a driver rather than professionals. The service was banned in Spain last week following similar protests.
France’s economy minister Emmanuel Macron said other Uber services would not be banned, such as the more expensive UberX. He said the ban would only apply to Uber Pop because drivers are not licensed.
Uber said that the company was “part of the solution, not part of the problem”.
An Uber spokesperson said: “We continue to have an open dialogue with all relevant stakeholders and believe we share the same objectives, namely to integrate innovative solutions into the mobility mix in France as well as to keep Paris moving, offering different safe, reliable and affordable transportation options for people.”
French interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told French TV that new laws would ban services like Uber Pop.
"It’s illegal to offer this service but additionally for the consumer there is a real danger," Brandet told iTELE. He cited concerns about whether some taxi operators are fully insured.
The decision comes after similar bans in India, Netherlands, Germany, Thailand and in the US city of Portland. There have also been protests against the San-Francisco based firm in London and South Korea.
As of August last year Uber operated in 45 countries including more than 200 cities and was recently valued at $40 billion.