A COMPANY which acts as a ‘digital handshake’ between taxi drivers and passengers is starting to recruit drivers in Portsmouth.
But private taxi operators are outraged by the move as the firm only works with Hackney carriage drivers licensed by Portsmouth City Council.
As a private hire we’re not allowed to pick up so its unfair on us.Stuart Youldon
The news follows the council giving rival firm Uber the green light to operate in the city.
Gett chief executive Remo Gerber said he was delighted about the expansion.
He said: ‘We’ve been in London for four years and it’s been fantastic to see how we have connected passengers to drivers.
‘After the successful launch across six UK cities including Manchester and Edinburgh where we have had an amazing response both from consumers and drivers, we have now decided to expand even further across the country.’
If a passenger orders a taxi via the Gett app on their mobile phones, the company takes a 10 per cent fee on the ride.
Private taxi driver Stuart Youldon, 46, of Horndean, said the app created an unfair playing field. He said: ‘I think it’s wrong. Hackney cabs shouldn’t be allowed to get people from phones.
‘As private hire we’re not allowed to pick them up so its unfair on us.’
Another private taxi driver, Tony Hannack, 63, of Hilsea, also said the system was unfair.
He said: ‘We’ve got far too many cars already. We have more taxis in this town than ships. The council let them all in but all they want is to get money.’
Taxi driver Viv Young, 60, of Swanwick, said there was already too much competition without more taxi services coming in.
He said: ‘There’s not enough work for the amount of taxi companies. There’s too many cars and the council should put a cap on it. More cars doesn’t mean a better service as the better drivers get less business.’
Gett head of growth Chris Lamontagne said the app worked like a ‘digital handshake’ between user and driver.
He said: ‘Our idea is that travel needs to be seamless between cities. One of my biggest frustrations with technology is when it sits in geographical silos, and Gett provides a solution to that.’