Okay, you're a cab!
June 12, 2014 11:19 AM Subscribe
In capital cities across Europe, taxi drivers took to the streets without passengers Wednesday afternoon.
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They slowed to a snail's pace in what Parisians called "Operation Escargot." Horns blared around Trafalgar Square in London. In Berlin, taxis massed at the Central Station. All to protest the smartphone app Uber.
For drivers of London's iconic black taxi cabs, Uber seems to pose an existential threat. Eddie Tresida spent two years studying for "The Knowledge
," the famously difficult test that requires prospective drivers to memorize every street in London before they can drive a black cab.
"Other drivers it takes three, four years. All depends how hard you work at it," says Tresida. "If you want to be a taxi driver, then do the same as what I've done. It's hard for two years. You go without things. You have to sacrifice things in your life. But if you want to be a taxi driver, this is the best taxi service in the world."
Similar fights are happening in American cities, too. In Virginia, the company is openly defying orders
to stop offering rides, running afoul of existing laws. Uber and Lyft car services have said they will continue to operate in Virginia, despite a cease-and-desist letter from the state saying the service is illegal because it hasn't received authorization from the Department of Motor Vehicles.