The French government will restrict minicab services following protests from taxi drivers. The French government will also add more taxi licenses in Paris to respond to residents’ complaints that they can never find a cab. In a joint statement, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls and Commerce Minister Sylvia Pinel said that minicabs, or car services provided by unmarked vehicles, will have to wait 15 minutes from receiving a reservation to picking up a client.
The minicabs would not be allowed to be hailed on the street. The 15-minute delay, however, would not apply to tourist hotels and to professional trade fairs.
Valls and Pinel said in the statement that the government will add 1,000 taxi licenses for the Paris region, under the condition that the taxis are prepared to work evenings and weekends.
According to the Paris Police's Web site, the Paris region has 17,357 taxis, compared with 32,000 in 1937 when the government first started limiting the number of taxi licenses.
Valls and Pinel also said that the French government will verify the number of minicabs, which until now are not tallied. A 2010 law on tourism services paved way for minicabs, with 323 companies registering in Paris alone, according to newspaper Le Figaro.