Taxify Plans Comeback to London

Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr

A European rival of Uber that was driven out of the United Kingdom in 2017 after only three days is planning a return to London, in a fresh challenge to the taxi app that originated from the United States.

Taxify operates in 26 different countries across Africa, Australia, and Europe. This month, it applied for a private hire licence with the Transport for London (TfL).

If the application becomes successful, it will mark the most recent entry into the competitive transport market in London, which has been affected by a series of tech companies. Taxify intends to steal a march on Uber by offering better pay to drivers, as well as lower fees.

The company allows passengers to hail a car using an app with the fares automatically paid through credit card. It ­entered London last September, assuming a licence by the backdoor through acquiring a small minicab operator. However, after three days, the TfL ordered it to stop its operations. Last December, the company pleaded guilty to operating even without a minicab licence, resulting in a fine of £250. It was also required to pay the £10,000 legal fees of TfL.

In a 160-page licence application that was filed this February, Taxify admitted to a “major error of judgment” and said that it had turned a new leaf.

Following an investigation, Finn Geraghty, its UK boss, was dismissed and the company has hired some industry veterans including the former UK policy chief of Uber.

The company says that it has signed up nearly 5,000 self-employed drivers and has applied to have as much as 10,000, in comparison to the 40,000 of Uber in London.