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Taxi wars Geneva cab drivers demand CHF4.8 million from Uber

Geneva's taxi drivers have demonstrated against Uber by blocking traffic

(Keystone)

Taxi drivers have demanded that the sum be paid to them in 10 days as compensation for business lost over a one year period. They also hold the canton of Geneva accountable. 

According to the Le Temps paper on Friday, a lawyer representing 285 Geneva taxis has issued a notice to the ride-sharing service Uber and the canton of Geneva demanding CHF4.8 million ($4.9 million) for the improper implementation of the ban on Uber in the canton. 

The lawyer, Jacques Roulet, has threatened to go to the courts if the sum if not paid before the deadline.

In April last year, Geneva's cantonal government ordered Uber to cease operations because it violated cantonal taxi regulations. The decision, appealed by Uber, is still being examined by an administrative court. A request by Uber to operate as before during this period was denied.   

However, despite the ban, Uber continues to operate in Geneva, as authorities have reinterpreted the definition of taxis to mean “any limousine with a professional driver that is in conformity with cantonal law on taxis and limousines”. 

An Uber driver, only needs a professional driver card and authorisation to use a car as an independent professional or show proof of being an employee of an authorised limousine company. 

According to the lawyer, the average financial loss to each driver since the Uber ban amounts to CHF16,000. He warned that the total damages could amount to CHF20 million if the approximately 1,200 taxi drivers in the canton claimed compensation. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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