The new service was launched in Rome on Friday after the city became the first in Italy to agree to allow Uber to enter the local taxi market, according to Italian media reports.
While the ride-hailing app does exist in Italy, it’s currently only available in Rome and Milan – and only in the form of the more luxurious Uber Black.
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The usual, cheaper Uber service is not allowed to operate in Italy, due to concerns about unfair competition for taxi drivers. The update on Friday doesn’t change this.
But the new addition to the app in Rome does mean the city’s residents and visitors have another option available when booking a cab.
Taxis can be summoned via the app, which gives an estimate of the cost upon booking. However the final price of your journey will be determined by the taxi meter.
It should soon be possible to book a taxi via Uber in dozens more towns and cities across Italy under a deal made in May between Uber and dispatcher IT Taxi.
However it’s not clear exactly when the service will become available in more cities, with local taxi drivers’ unions across the country reportedly still fighting to block the approval of the agreement.
Rome’s taxi drivers staged a series of protests in recent weeks against the planned expansion of Uber and a new decree containing provisions for deregulating the highly protected taxi sector.
Uber’s move came days after local authorities in Rome pledged to crack down on overcharging by unscrupulous taxi drivers operating at the city’s airports.