Taxi drivers in Spain wear yellow vests, protest in the streets

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:40 AM PT — Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The rise in ride-hailing apps is sparking protests across Spain. Hundreds of taxi drivers are on day three of a strike in Madrid, and are wearing the same yellow vests used by protesters in neighboring France.

The taxi drivers want regional authorities to offer a deal similar to the one struck in Barcelona, which calls for companies like Uber to face the same regulations as taxis.

Taxi drivers block the access to a trade exhibition center, during a protest in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Striking Spanish taxi drivers demanding more regulations for app-based ride-hailing services are blocking access to a trade exhibition center in Madrid where a major tourism fair begins Wednesday. Riot police have been deployed as the drivers, many wearing the yellow traffic safety vests used by protesters in neighboring France, burn tires and block traffic on a highway circling Spain’s capital. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Demonstrators believe ride-hailing companies have an unfair advantage over the market, because they can offer their services for less.

“We want to be heard and we demand they implement the law. The law should be applied, they cannot do the same job as us. It should not be a case of taking us out of work, so they have work”. — Gregorio Rodriguez, taxi driver

Over 20,000 taxis are affected by the strikes in Madrid and Barcelona, which is causing major transportation delays. According to the Spanish Taxi Federation, there will be more protests to come if the taxi driver’s demands are not met.