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UberTAXI launches operation in Athens

UberTaXI landed in Athens and launched its service as of today even though currently only in the Greek capital. “Athens, Your UberTaxi is here!” – With this title, the controversial car-booking company announced the kick off of its operation in Athens, even though “with a limited numbers of cars on commission” and great hope “to make more cars available.”
The company uses a smartphone application to arrange rides between riders and drivers. Customers use the app to request rides and track their reserved vehicle’s location.
According to the company’s press release, uberTaxi fares are 20% cheaper than a traditional taxi, while the payment involves no cash at all. The payment is been done between UberTaxi and the customer.



Beginning today, uberTAXI fares are 20% cheaper than a taxi. These discounted rates will stay in place until further notice. There will be no booking fees or additional charges to riders.
             Your uberTAXI is not just cheaper, it’s better:
      • You get the driver’s photo, vehicle license plate and phone number so you can safely identify and contact your driver.
      • This is a completely cash-free experience. When you arrive at your destination, simply get out of the taxi and go on your way. The fare will be charged through the app to your credit/debit card or PayPal account on file and we’ll email you a detailed receipt.
      • Running late for a meeting? Share your taxi location and ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)  with an SMS. (from UberTaxi blog)
For new Users, UberTAXI has a promo discount of up to €5, valid until 04/01/2015, for the first ride with the company.
Contrary to the company’s practices in other countries, UberTaxi cooperates in Athens only with professional taxi drivers. According to some Greek media “already 100 drivers had registered with the company” by middle of November.
However -and as expected – Athens Taxi Association (SATA) issued an angry statement against UberTaxi already on November 25/2014,  appealed to all taxi drivers to refrain from joining the new cab-booking system and threatened to take steps against the new company in order to ban it from Greece.
UberTaxi  has been the subject of ongoing protests in many of the 45 countries where it operates. Taxi drivers, taxi companies and representative bodies believe that ridesharing companies are illegal taxicab operations that engage in unfair business practices and compromise passenger safety. In some countries, uberTaxi cooperates “with any qualified driver with an acceptable vehicle.” This kind of ridesharing is not available in Greece though.
Anyway, before SATA bans uberTaxi and before uberTaxi raises the fares, you can register and take your discount promo here.  
PS I have no idea if the UberTaxi-meters charge per distance or per time and if they have different charges according to normal or peak hours. Ask them!

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