Uber may go down as one of the most controversial companies the planet has ever hosted.
Once again, taxi drivers have staged a massive protest against the growing competition of Uber and Cabify services. This time the protest is in in Santiago, Chile.
Monday, taxi drivers created a major traffic jam and interrupted travelers plans as they blocked the main road going to the airport in the capital city of Santiago, Reuters reported.
One person died as a result of the protest, when a 65-year-old Brazilian tourist who was stuck in the traffic suffered a heart condition. He was airlifted out by a medical helicopter, but it was too late to save his life, Chilean police reported.
At least 15 people were arrested as being responsible for the protests, and are expected to be charged.
The protest resulted in one of the area’s largest airlines, LATAM Airlines, and Sky Airlines, both suffering delays. Many passengers gave up and started walking along the highway trying to reach the airport.
Claudio Orrego, the governor of the Santiago Metropolitan Region, responded to the protests, saying, “This takeover of the airport by the taxi drivers has significantly hurt the image of Chile, the image of the airlines, and has hurt people traveling or arriving in the country.”
Uber and Cabify remain in a legal gray zone, Reuters reported, and said legislation is slowing advancing through Chile’s congress to regulate the two companies, who are directly competing with taxi services, much to the taxi drivers’ dismay.
The taxi drivers have complained that the Uber drivers do not have a taxi license, and are risking passengers’ safety.
The following similar protest by taxi drivers in Santiago was in May 2016.
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