Disputed advantages of taxis
Rivalry between taxis and vocational training centers is not new, but preparations for the 2024 Olympics have exacerbated tensions. VTC drivers and rigs strongly condemn their exclusion from urban development projects, especially their inability to travel on the 185-kilometre-long reserved lanes during the Games, unlike taxis. This discrimination finds no justification in the eyes of mass transportation companies, which see this decision as an unfair service granted to taxis.
In addition to these reserved lanes, vocational training centers also denounce discrimination regarding pick-up and drop-off areas. Unlike taxis that can approach sports venues, vocational training centers will have to park farther away, which may affect their activity during this crucial period. Some players in the VTC sector, such as Hugues Le Chevalier, general manager in Europe for Heetch, and Yassine Bensassi, vice president of VTC de France, express frustration at what they see as bias from the state and the Paris City Council in favor of taxis.
For the government, the presence of vocational training centers is likely to create traffic jams
The reserved routes, which will be valid from June 15 to September 1, 2024, are mainly intended for IOC-accredited persons (journalists, officials, etc.), buses, emergency vehicles and taxis. The government justifies the exclusion of vocational training centers by explaining that their presence on these roads could cause traffic congestion, thus harming the liquidity needed during the Games. In addition, identifying vocational training centers may complicate controls. However, this justification is disputed by FTC representatives, who point out that WTC drivers send their license plates to the Interior Department, making control possible (in theory).
Despite the advantage given to taxis, which Jean Barrera, president of the association Les Nouveaux Taxis Parisiens, justified due to the state regulation of their prices, mass transit centers highlight their ability to transport a large number of visitors expected during the Games. A lack of understanding prevails among drivers and platforms of vocational training centers, who question the decision not to exploit the potential of the additional 30,000 drivers that vocational training centers can provide, especially when demand is high with the influx of tourists.
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