Taxi wars continue



The tug-of-war between Cairo taxi drivers and online companies like Uber and Careem does not seem to be coming to an end, with licenced taxi drivers continuing to protest against the app-based companies, accusing them of unfair competition because their cars are not licensed taxicabs.

1The taxi drivers say that these companies are “illegally” stealing their income and livelihoods, and they are demanding that the government shut them down.

Over recent weeks, taxi drivers in Cairo have organised weekly protests against the companies; some have even ambushed Uber drivers and turned them over to the police.

The protesting cab drivers did this by downloading the Uber app on their phones, registering using the cash option, and then requesting an Uber ride by pretending to be fake customers. Once the Uber driver arrives, they turn him over to the police. The same tactics have been used with Careem drivers.

On 26 February, the Cairo Traffic Authority imposed fines of between LE500 and LE700 on nine drivers working for Uber and Careem for “circumventing the law”.

The legal status of the companies remains unclear. According to Uber and Careem, they are both operating legally in Egypt and are registered as tech companies. The companies say they are abiding by domestic legislation and paying all required taxes to the state. More info