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EghtesadOnline: Tehran's Taxi Union has approved three more ride-hailing apps as the market for calling taxis through smartphones continues to develop at a breakneck pace.

According to Masoud Tayebi, head of the union, the three new apps have been given the official all-clear in the increasingly tight market, the local technology website Techrasa said on Tuesday.

The three new apps are called 'Hitro', 'Ja be Ja' and 'Escort'.

According to the official, any company that has obtained the permits including “licenses in their field of activities”, the e-commerce seal (E-Namad), and the approval of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance can enter the market, according to Financial Tribune.

Once the companies have all the paperwork in place,  they will each receive a temporary license of three to six months and have the full support of the union, he said.

The original report notes that apart from Hitro, the other two have not yet launched online.

>Hitro Going for Luxury

Hitro's business plan seems to take a page out of Uber's playbook by offering limousines and luxury cars as their selling point.

Up until now all three other apps in the market, including Tap30, Snapp and Carpino offer regular cars at discount rates.

The taxi union chief added that any driver, including taxi drivers, can use any of the new apps consecutively.

He also hinted at the policies in force by Tap30 and Snapp which say their drivers cannot operate on both systems at the same time because it is "unfair."

Tayebi says the duopoly is against the rules of fair play, but noted taxi drivers are getting around the system as they use two smartphones with different registered numbers.

Talking with ride-hailing drivers Financial Tribune staff witnessed both apps on one cell phone. The drivers said they had no problem registering with both companies.  

The latest announcement of the apps follows news that Tap30 had launched its service in the tourist city of Esfahan.

The new move could further threaten the future of ride-hailing applications.

Meanwhile motorbikes are also getting into the ride-hailing business with a new app called Alopeyk.com, much like the cab app. The service will find the nearest motorbike rider and offer a much lower price for delivery than regular apps.

Iran Ride-hailing Iran Ride-Hailing Apps Iran taxi union