uber in paris, france

Those not-a-taxi ridesharing services are facing all sorts of difficulties, from union challenges to unfriendly local laws. Of course, they're also enjoyed by thousands of people around the world and have support from other union groups, so you're forgiven if you can't keep straight who's in favor of what on the issue. One thing is certain, though, France might soon be a completely anti-ridesharing country.

French legislators are discussing a law that would really hinder the work that Uber and other app-based ridesharing companies (like French companies Snapcar and Chauffeur-Privé) are doing. Namely, between fares, Uber drivers would need to go back to their headquarters or to a parking garage. No waiting in the park. No driving around aimlessly. Nothing. Just go home and wait for another fare. The only way out of the "go home" rule is if the driver has another reservation lined up. The problem is that Uber would not be allowed to show where its cars are on an online map. So, yeah.

The underlying issue, according to The Wall Street Journal, is that the government only allows taxis to respond to street hails. Uber gets around this by using the app-based reservation system, but if you can see that there's an Uber car around the block, what's the real difference between that and a street hail, is the government's point.

In January, the government tried to force ridesharing drivers to have to wait 15 minutes between fares, but that decree was suspended after protests. The new "go home" law passed the French Senate last week and will now be voted on by the National Assembly in the fall. We expect more protests before then.