Taxify is boldly entering the Paris ridesharing market that has proven to be such a pain for Uber and others. The company announced it will be able to compete with its main competition, UberX, thanks to 10 percent lower prices on average, and by taking a smaller cut from drivers -- 15 percent compared to Uber's 25 percent. "The prices will be lower for the customer and the drivers, better paid," Taxify told Le Parisien.
Like Uber, Taxify must use drivers with a professional chauffeur license called a VTC, as the user of private driver services like UberPOP is not permitted in France. With a back-of-the-envelope calculation, a $20 UberX ride in the French capital would cost you $18 with Taxify, while the driver would get $15 on Uber and about $15.30 with Taxify. The services work about the same as far as the consumer is concerned -- you call the cab with your phone, and payment is automatically taken from your card after the ride.
The company has enrolled about 5,000 drivers already, but as you'd expect, not everyone is thrilled about this. "The platform is positioning itself on a dying economic model," says VTC union head Sayah Baaroun, "and in the end, it's the drivers who will suffer."
Meanwhile, the National Union of Taxis is concerned that the name "Taxify" will create confusion among consumers, and is likely to take it up with France's consumer affairs bureau. In other words, the company might be facing the same problems in Paris that it did in London, where it was forced to halt operations after just a week.