A new ride-hailing app brought to London last week has suspended its services while it clarifies its position with Transport for London, after the authority said it was “urgently investigating” its status.
Yahoo reports that Uber-rival Taxify doesn’t hold a licence itself, but that it operates as a “technology platform,” which sources rides for an existing ride-hailing operator called City Drive Services, which does have one licence.
The website says that Taxify has accumulated more than 30,000 customers and added 3,000 drivers since it launched, adding, “Taxify is a technological platform for customers to hail rides from City Drive Services, a licensed London based private hire company. This has been raised as a concern by TfL and in full cooperation, Taxify have temporarily stopped operations to clarify its legal position with the regulator and reach a resolution so that services can return to normal.”
“TfL have a responsibility to Londoners to make sure there is a competitive ride-hailing market in the capital that strengthens incentives for operators to improve quality and safety while also bringing the overall cost down for customers. Taxify’s model does just this having achieved significant breakthroughs in over 19 markets around the world, and we look forward to an open and transparent dialogue with TfL in the coming days to resolve this.”
Yahoo further reports that in a letter to Transport for London and London’s deputy mayor for transport, GMB union secretary Steve Garelick called Taxify’s acquisition tactics into question, noting that the company’s decision not to advise TfL of a change to licencing conditions appeared “incompatible with the law.”