Bucharest’s notoriously awful taxi drivers have reportedly taken to underhand tactics in order to try and get rid of the competition: Uber. The ride-sharing app, which first appeared in the Romanian capital last year, has been gaining traction of late as more and more drivers hit the streets in order to meet increased demand. The days of not being able to find an Uber are now a thing of the past: only rarely will you see the dreaded ‘No cars available’ message when opening the app.
Feeling threatened, a few taxi drivers have reportedly taken the law into their own hands. This report from Pro TV claims that taxi drivers are ordering Ubers then having accomplices inform the police (with whom they are in cahoots) of their location. The police then stop the car in question (Ubers are unmarked, so difficult for the police to identify) and – for the first offence – give the Uber drivers a warning. If they are caught a second time they could face large fines, if it is proven that what they are doing is providing a taxi or hire car service.
If you are yourself ever in an Uber that gets stopped by the police, do the driver a favour and tell the copper he’s your mate. There is then nothing the police can do. Meantime, boycott Bucharest’s taxis. The shysters.