efe-epaRio de Janeiro

Hundreds of taxi drivers caused massive traffic jams in this southeastern Brazilian metropolis with a protest Thursday against Uber and other ride-hailing apps.

The cab drivers gathered early in the morning at several strategic points of Rio de Janeiro before departing in huge caravans to the mayor's office in the city's downtown.

They are demanding that Mayor Marcelo Crivella impose stricter regulations on apps that connect owners of private vehicles with passengers.

Although the protest was largely peaceful, some taxi drivers clashed with police when the officers tried to clear roadblocks impeding the flow of traffic on main thoroughfares.

Police also used tear gas to disperse groups of demonstrators who had gathered outside the mayor's office and made several attempts to block traffic on Presidente Vargas Avenue in downtown Rio.

Although several Brazilian cities have tried to regulate or even ban San Francisco-based Uber and other ride-hailing apps, a federal court ruled that private drivers also have the right to provide paid rides nationwide.