French Government to Limit Car Services After Taxi Protest

The French government will limit mini-cab services after protests from taxi drivers, and will add more taxi licenses in Paris to satisfy residents of the nation’s capital who say they can never find a cab.

Mini-cabs, or car services provided by unmarked vehicles, will have to wait 15 minutes between receiving a reservation and picking up a client, and the ban on them being hailed on the street will be reinforced, Interior Minister Manuel Valls and Commerce Minister Sylvia Pinel said in a joint statement.

The 15-minute delay won’t apply to tourist hotels and to professional trade fairs.

An additional 1,000 taxi licenses will be added for the Paris region, on the condition they are prepared to work evenings and weekends, Valls and Pinel said in the statement.

There are 17,357 taxis in the Paris region, according to the Paris Police’s website, compared with 32,000 in 1937 when the government first began limiting the number of licenses.

Valls and Pinel also said the government will attempt to count the number of mini-cabs, for which there are no verifiable statistics. A 2010 law on tourism services opened the way for mini-cabs, and 323 companies have been registered in Paris alone, newspaper Le Figaro said Oct. 1.