Tehran Taxi Organization is finally starting to compete with the private sector players such as Snapp with its Uber-like app. The app is expected to be released during Nowruz, the Iranian New Year holidays. Tehran Taxi Organizations had previously stated that it has many concerns about the security issues of the Uber clones in the country.
“We want to manage the Taxis and passengers in a systematic and smart way in Tehran using our taxi fleet. In order to design Tehran’s Taxi Call Center, we had to study the apps and call centers of 7 different countries using similar systems,” Meysam Mozaffar stated in April 2016.
Currently ride-hailing apps in Iran are facing serious obstacles. The Taxi union, IT Union of Iran, Traffic Police, ICT Guild Organization and Tehran Municipality are among the organizations hindering the situation for such apps. The major concern about the present apps is security issues. These apps require drivers to provide a certificate of clean record within 10 days after their registration but they do not seem to be very strict about it. In addition to security concerns, the Traffic Police has also emphasized that private or self-employed drivers cannot work as taxis and there is a nine-dollar bill for it.
Snapp the dominant player and Tap30 the runner-up, are the two main private sector players. Snapp has acquired a large number of drivers and users using its platform in the last two years. Right now, with commission rates of 13% to 15%, Snapp appears to charge less than the traditional taxi agencies with 15% to 20% commissions.
This is while the Tehran Taxi Organization app is the only one working with a license issued from Tehran Municipality. A call center will accompany this app but the drill is a bit different from Snapp. The drivers will be awaiting requests in stations or taxi terminals and will move afterwards. There will also be stations dedicated to these taxies adjacent to shopping centers, hospitals and hotels. Up until now, 30 of such stations have been installed in Tehran. Another feature of this system is that it can also be used even without a smartphone by calling a phone number.
8,000 taxi drivers have been trained in an education center associated with Tehran Taxi Organization to use the platform. In order for the drivers to use the platform they have to acquire a license which approves their mental and physical health. The passengers will also be insured when using the services. In addition, the driver’s identification info including their addresses will be stored at Tehran Taxi Organizations disposal in case of problems to assure the security of their services. These taxis are allowed to trespass inside the traffic limitation zone and the users are given the choice to choose among hybrid cars, vans and even female drivers. Restored or new taxis are the only ones allowed to use this platform. The prices are also set to be lower than the other competitors.