The it Taxi app, launched earlier this month, allows people to search for and book taxis on their mobile phones. The service has been created by the Italian taxi drivers’ union (URI, Unione Radiotaxi Italiani).
Customers can either use their smartphone’s location service or type in an address to find the nearest available taxi, which can then be booked and paid for on their phone.
The app is currently available in Italian, English and German and in over 30 locations across the country, including Rome and Milan.
The free new tool comes just three months after taxi drivers in Rome joined a Europe-wide protest against a similar service, Uber.
The California-based chauffeur car service has been blamed for taking clients away from licensed taxi drivers and leading to a rise in unregulated drivers. Creators of the it Taxi app say that their customers’ requests are channelled through local taxi operators that are backed by the URI.
Earlier this year, Uber was banned in Barcelona, Spain, while last week a court in Frankfurt overturned a ban on the service in Germany.