Cabbies Threaten to Boycott Get Taxi Over Canceled Fee

The popular mobile app’s cancellation of a one-off fee paid for pickups has the drivers up in arms.

Daniel Schmil
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Taxi drivers are considering holding a warning strike on Thursday morning to protest the decision by mobile phone app Get Taxi to drop the fee received by drivers when they respond to an order.

The drivers say they will lose hundreds of shekels a month as a result of what they call an uncoordinated and one-sided decision.

Up to now, the popular phone app has paid taxi drivers a NIS 5.20 fee when responding to an order. The money was meant to cover the expense of coming to where the passenger was waiting.

Get Taxi said it canceled the fee in response to a similar move by credit card company Isracard, which runs an identical, though less popular, service. The company stated that 95% of drivers agreed to forgo the fee via their taxi radios last Thursday. Get Taxi says orders have jumped 25% since the fee was waived.

In a meeting at Ramat Aviv mall on Friday, drivers discussed not taking calls from Get Taxi until 10 A.M. on Thursday as a warning to the company. However, many drivers object the plan.

Get Taxi said it charges its drivers less than other stations, and is also known for providing a significant amount of work. However, the drivers maintain that Get Taxi has recently raised the station fee it charges member drivers to NIS 900 a month.

The company holds its drivers to high standards – they must have new cabs, and if passengers complain about a specific driver, the company may drop him.

Shahar Smirin, founder of Get Taxi.Credit: Daniel Bar-On