Sci & Tech

No End in Sight to Taxi Organization Plight

The TTO is trying to use its clout, or whatever is left of it, to push back the newcomers whose business is seemingly thriving in the forever crowded metropolis
Iran ride-hailing services continue to face inter-organizational rivalry.Iran ride-hailing services continue to face inter-organizational rivalry.
Several public campaigns with undisclosed backing have been launched trying to smear Snapp and Tap30 by raising questions over the “mental health” of its drivers

The Tehran Taxi Organization has come up with its old rhetoric against ride-hailing services now saying that cabbies registered with the organization are not allowed to simultaneously work for Tap30 and Snapp — two major players in Iran’s ride-hailing sector.

In March, the TTO launched its own ride-hailing app Carpino, but several taxi drivers prefer work with Tap30 and Snapp due to better earnings, local news website Khabar Online reported.

TTO has yet to announce the penalty for noncompliance by drivers. In an unprecedented move, the organization called the two ride-hailing businesses “enemies” and said working with them is tantamount to betrayal.

While neither Snapp nor Tap30 have announced any preference for employing drivers, the TTO is claiming that the two private companies are disrupting its online business by pilfering its drivers.

The strong-worded TTO statement was published on its official Telegram channel. The head of the TTO did not deny the statement when Financial Tribune contacted the organization. However, he refused to say more.

 Public Opinion

Carpino’s services are said to be more expensive compared to its rivals, and the company boasts of “exclusively using professional taxi drivers which have official profiles with the organization.”

In addition, on various occasions, the TTO has criticized its rivals for “employing drivers who have not gone through physical and mental health screening.”

Furthermore, several public campaigns with unidentified backing have been launched that attempt to smear Snapp and Tap30, by questioning the “state of mental health” of drivers working with the two online businesses. The campaigns have tried to show Tap30 and Snapp as “insecure.”

However several users of the ride-hailing services who spoke with Financial Tribune dismissed the claims. One said, “All the drivers have profiles with their companies which include the drivers’ ID number. Furthermore, in case any problem arises, the customer can easily contact their support networks.”

Another user also dismissed the claims calling it “a Carpino tactic to beat its rivals.”

On the other hand, several users reported that since the number of drivers working with Carpino is significantly larger than the other two, getting a ride is faster with Carpino.

Although this point was disputed by some users, who told this newspaper that, “Carpino’s app is still underdeveloped compared to its rivals. It has crashed on several occasions disrupting the process of booking a cab.”

Since Snapp has MTN’s technological and computational backing, the service ironed out its flaws well over a year ago following complaints by users.

Snapp is co-owned by Germany’s Rocket Internet and South African telecommunication company MTN through its holding company, Iran Internet Group.

Earlier this year, MTN made a substantial investment in the rapidly growing business but did not provide figures. MTN-Irancell is the second largest mobile operator in Iran.

 Legal Hurdles

CEO of Tap30 earlier this week accused the Iran Chamber of Guilds of delays in issuing permits to the business in favor of other companies.

In an interview with Financial Tribune’s sister newspaper, Donya-e-Eqtesad, Milad Monshipour said the guild has made Tap30 operations difficult by not issuing the permits to the company.

“Tap30 had applied for the permits long before its rivals. While they received the license, Tap30 is still waiting,” he said.

Last week, Tap30’s offices in the city of Mashhad were shut down for lacking proper papers.

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