On Tuesday, angry taxi drivers protested against deteriorating working conditions and "unfair competition" from private drivers. Protesters blocked several roads across Lebanon, notably in downtown Beirut.
The demonstration, which was organized by the Taxi Drivers' Union, caused many traffic jams. Grievances have been fueled by Lebanon's continuing economic collapse, which has been marked by a record depreciation of the lira and a surge in fuel prices.
According to the state-run National News Agency, hundreds of cab drivers gathered in Beirut's Riad el-Solh Square, where roads were blocked. Several other roads were also blocked, including the Charles Helou highway. Another sit-in was reported near Banque du Liban in Hamra. According to local TV channel MTV, roads in the city of Jounieh were also blocked.
NNA says that the drivers protested against "the continued chaos in their sector and the deterioration of their living conditions."
The protesters asked officials concerned to "take measures against violators of the profession in the transport sector, owners of false taxi licence plates and motorcyclists who work illegally."
They also demanded "to prohibit drivers of Syrian nationality" to practice this profession.
Contacted by L'Orient-Le Jour, the owner of a cab agency said that about "400 cars have mobilized in the center of the capital." "We demand the immediate cessation of applications such as Bolt, Uber and others that charge derisory prices," he added, stressing that "no control is imposed on these companies that force many cab drivers to unemployment who are starving."
This is not the first of such demonstrations. In 2022, taxi drivers staged repeated demonstrations in demand of better wages.