Egypt's taxi drivers have taken to the country's Administrative Court to file a lawsuit against ride-haling platforms in the country, namely Uber and Careem. They filed the lawsuit on 13 February 2017 and the Egyptian Administrative has set a new hearing date of 27 February 2018 to examine the merits of the lawsuit.
The main argument by the taxi drivers who have filed the lawsuit is that both Uber and Careem are unfair competition and that Egypt's government must suspend both ride-hailing platforms' operations in the North Afrikan country. Both Careem and Uber were launched in Egypt in 2014 and as of 2017, Careem enjoyed a better share of the market with approximately 3 million registered while Uber had about 1,7 million registered users on their platform.
To support their fight against Uber and Careem in Egypt, the taxi drivers, like many others have argued on similar points across Afrika, cite that the requirements for drivers on ride-hailing platforms are vastly different compared to what the authorities expect them, taxi drivers, to comply with. These requirements include:
- Fees for car inspections
- Insurance (different for public transportation such as taxis)
- Driver's license renewals (different for public transportation such as taxis)
- Business taxes
These differences in compliance requirements arise because in Egypt they do not apply to private citizens who register on Uber and Careem, the taxi drivers argued.
“Why don’t Uber and Careem drivers pay taxes and insurance and license renewal fees like us? When their work is regulated, they will be required to pay the expenses, taxes, and fees. In this case, white taxis will become a cheaper option for the customer,” Alaa Mohamed, Head of the White Taxi Syndicate, is reported to have said.
Egypt's policymakers have looked into regulating the ride-hailing platforms previously but nothing has come of any of the comittees previously formed to look into this.