Thousands of taxicab drivers in Bogota are staging an indefinite strike to protest against ride-hailing service apps including Uber and Cabify which operate largely in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds. Kate King reports.
Thousands of taxicab drivers in Colombia's capital Bogota are trying to steer their government in a different direction. They've begun an indefinite strike, calling for more regulation around ride-hailing app services. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COLOMBIAN TAXI DRIVER, ABDON AMADO, SAYING: "We're protesting the Uber X service and the use of private cars to carry out taxi services when it is not allowed. It is illegal, according to the transportation ministry." Protests like this are all to familiar for Uber. It's facing a backlash in other cities too, including London - where its license is under review. It says it provides a safe and reliable alternative. Bogota's taxi drivers were already frustrated by a new ruling which requires them to replace taxi meters with software applications to collect fares. Those costs compounded by falling clientele. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) TAXI DRIVER, WILLIAM TRIVINO, SAYING: "Uber, Cabify and anyone else who tries to arrive are protected by the government when it should be protecting us. We cabbies have always led the market and we pay a lot of taxes and then someone with a cell phone comes in takes our work." With 8-million people in Bogota, some might argue there's room for all. But the more than 50,000 registered taxis drivers don't agree.