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Tuk tuks thrive on Paris streets

Rickshaw companies have developed in 'a legal grey area' - and police are now attempting to crack down on them

POLICE in Paris are attempting to take action against a growing number of unlicensed motorised rickshaws operating around the capital's top tourist sites.

The tuk tuks first arrived in the city three years ago, but the number of rival companies offering the service has grown significantly this summer.

There are now at least six firms offering tuk tuk rides and dozens of other drivers who are self-employed.

A journey in the city centre ranges from €20 to €60 and is proving popular as an alternative way of seeing the city.

Tuk tuk drivers are expected to have a motorbike licence (permis A) to carry out their job.

The businesses have developed in what one director described as "a bit of a legal grey area" - and police are concerned about passenger safety and the impact on taxis.

The director of one tuk tuk company told Le Parisien: "The authorities do not know how to classify what we do."

Another said: "The police and taxi authorities have us in their sights. Hardly a day goes by without one of my drivers being fined or taken to a police station for offering an unlicensed taxi service."

Police have quoted a 2009 law on tourism that states that only licensed Parisian taxis are allowed to pick up passengers on the street.

The firms argue that they are responding to demand from tourists and are not out to compete against taxis.

Photo: Nimbus -

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