THE UK’s biggest taxi app is coming to Yorkshire, with thecompany behind it confident it can avoid the controversy which has dogged a similar service in London.
Kabx says the app will change the way people book cabs forever.
It was initially launched in Manchester in the summer, and is now available in Leeds, London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Dublin.
The service allows people to ‘jump the queue’ by ordering and tracking a cab on their smartphone.
Kabx has partnerships directly with private hire companies, and says this will mean it can call on a large fleet of cabs.
A similar service, called Uber, operates in London and led to thousands of cabbies in the capital protesting that the mobile app was used to work out the cost of rides.
They said it was tantamount to a taxi meter, which only black cabs are legally entitled to use in London.
Uber’s steady expansion has seen it operate in more than 40 countries, but there have been protests from other drivers, and Berlin recently banned Uber, saying it had concerns for public safety if passengers were transported in ‘unlicensed vehicles’.
Uber has said it will appeal the decision.
The app had earlier been banned in Hamburg over licensing concerns, and there have been other protests in Madrid and Paris.
Earlier this month Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, wrote to London mayor Boris Johnson demanding to know why Transport for London allowed cars to take bookings through the Uber app without a licence to operate in the capital.
Because the app is operated via a company in the Netherlands, which makes the bookings, takes the payment and issues the receipt, corporation tax is payable in Holland, rather than the UK, she said.
Uber said it complies with all applicable tax laws and pays taxes in all jurisdictions.
Transport for London said its role is to license and regulate the taxi and private hire industry in London and it has no powers in relation to an operator’s corporate structure and how or where they pay tax.
Kabx says it has almost twice as many cabs in its fleet as Uber. It says its partnerships with the private hire companies means it “can call on a much bigger fleet of cabs compared to other taxi apps like the much-talked about Uber, which only has deals with individual drivers”.
When it launched in Manchester it had a fleet of more than 2,000 taxis.
The service works by matching the caller with the cab nearest to their location via their smartphone’s GPS. Users can book the closest cab to them, and get a quote of the cost plus the option of paying by cash or card.
Kabx marketing manager James Kelly said: “The key differentiator of our app is the size of our network. Having so many cars allows us to pick up most customers in just minutes, far faster than the nearest competitor.” The Kabx app is available on both Apple and Android app stores.
Source: Yorkshire Post