Taxify, the Tallinn, Estonia-based rival to Uber that had to close its London service after just three days following intervention by Transport for London (TfL), has lashed out at London's public transport operator and regulator, accusing it of effectively trying to drive the company out of London.
TfL had argued that the company did not have a proper licence to operate in the capital, and revoked the licence it did hold, through a company called City Drive Services. Taxify claims that this move was "invalid, without merit and outside of existing law".
In a statement issued tonight, Taxify claimed that it did "everything in its power to comply with the local regulations, but is faced by aggression from TfL", and implied that the transport operator and regulator was determined to close it down as soon as it opened for business this week.
Taxify strongly believes that the reasons for TfL revoking City Drive Services' licence are invalid, without merit, and outside of existing law
It continued: "To launch its service to London customers, the business purchased a TfL licensed operator, running Taxify as a technology platform directing bookings to City Drive Services registered drivers.
"This arrangement is completely compliant within the existing UK law, and is a common practice within the industry. Taxify does not need a licence, as any licensed operator can use any technology platform they choose to facilitate bookings between private hire drivers and riders."
Taxify claims that instead of taking its concerns directly to the company, it instead went after the 3,000 drivers already signed up to take passengers via Taxify's app.
"Despite multiple attempts at communication with to resolve the issue, TfL has not provided any guidance. In an effort to stay fully compliant, and to protect drivers from further harassment and scrutiny by TfL, Taxify voluntarily paused the use of its app by City Drive Services drivers so that it can seek clarification with the regulator," claimed Taxify.
It also accused TfL of revoking the licence held by City Drive Services on an irrelevant technicality - a change in the company's director.
"Taxify strongly believe that the reasons for TfL revoking City Drive Services' licence are invalid, without merit, and outside of existing law. The action by TfL is denying London customers a valid choice within the market which has limited options. Taxify is appealing against TfL's decision immediately," it claimed.
It concluded: "Taxify is immensely frustrated that TfL has not been willing to co-operate nor meet to discuss its operating licence and entrance into the London market.
"Taxify is a fully compliant ride-hailing technology provider, already operating in 19 other countries and major European cities, where it is successfully delivering a new competitive ride-hailing platform to the benefit of both customers and drivers…
"London customers and drivers are crying out for competition against what has become an unchallenged monopoly."
Taxify launched its London ride-hailing service on Tuesday, with more 3,000 drivers signed up, 7,000 drivers due to be on-boarded and over 30,000 customers downloading the app in the first three days.
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