THE LATEST challenger to Uber's stranglehold on London minicabs has been forced to suspend operation after just three days.
Taxify started in Estonia back in 2013 and rolled out in the UK capital this week as the 25th city in the company's portfolio.
The service works in the same way as its rivals but has stricter safety controls including a three-year licence, full training and a zero-tolerance policy on booze and drugs.
However, yesterday it transpired that Taxify, which is not a licensed private hire operator (ie. minicab) had begun seeking clarification on its situation.
A Transport for London (TfL) statement said: "The law requires private hire bookings to be taken by licensed private hire operators at a licensed premises, with appropriate record keeping
"Taxify is not a licensed private hire operator and is not licensed to accept private hire bookings in London. TfL has instructed Taxify to stop accepting bookings and it has done so."
The CEO of the company, Markus Villig explained that although Taxify itself isn't licensed, it has bought a cab company called City Drive Services which has a licence for another two years. He describes Taxify as a "technology platform" to enable City Drive to operate. However, it has become clear that this way into the market may not go down well with TfL.
Union bosses, who have been instrumental in protecting black cab drivers from the rise of Uber have said that they believe that Taxify's route to market in the UK goes against London's regulations.
If it turns out that is the case, Taxify will be going off-road for a long time while it applies for a licence in its own name.
Meanwhile the Black Cab drivers, for whom app-based ride-hailing has caused the biggest issues are fighting back thanks to apps like Gett, while a number of leading cab companies have added Uber-like features to their own apps. µ
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