Ride-hailing service Taxify has launched in Paris, one month after being banned in London.
The company said it was “fully committed” to complying with local regulations around private hire cab firms.
A rival to Uber, Taxify is trying to attract drivers by offering a lower commission fee on fares of 15%. The company is also offering 50% off fares for the month of October.
Taxify claims it has 2,000 Parisian drivers on its platform already, according to local newspaper Le Figaro.
It isn’t clear yet whether Taxify might run into the same regulatory issues in Paris as in London. But France’s taxi union, the UNT, is already gearing up for a fight, according to local media, saying that the “name of the app will create confusion in the mind of the consumer.”
The argument is one similarly made against Taxify by black taxi drivers in London — that the word “taxi” can only be used to describe taxicabs, as opposed to minicabs. The UNT said it had appealed to France’s competition authority.
Taxify is fighting to re-establish in London
Taxify launched to much fanfare in London on 4 September, but had to stop operating three days later after the capital’s transport regulator launched an urgent investigation.
Transport for London (TfL) said the company was not a licensed operator. The issue stemmed from the fact that rather than obtaining its own operator’s licence, Taxify took a shortcut and bought a local company which already had a licence, called City Drive. Taxify also warned its drivers not to tell regulators that they were employed by Taxify.
Taxify told Business Insider that the regulatory environment was different in Paris, and that it did not require an operator’s licence.
Still, the French capital has a strict regime around private hire, and Taxify’s biggest rival Uber has already run into trouble there. Uber had to suspend and was fined over its UberPop service in June last year, which connected passengers to non-professional drivers. Local startup Heetch was fined for running a similar service.
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