Milan tests single phone number for taxis

And offers free app for finding closest.

Milan city hall has launched an experimental service for ordering the nearest taxi with the single, global number 02 7777.

Up to now about 400 of the city’s 4,855 white cabs have signed up to the service, which is expected to become definitive in September.

Meanwhile, a thousand milanesi are being sought to test a free smartphone app, called Milanointaxi, which will use GPS location data to match the customer with the nearest free cab, thus reducing waiting time and costs.

They can then use the app to book a cab; the nearest free cab will be alerted, and when the driver confirms the order, the customer receives an SMS with the number of the taxi and the estimated arrival time.

Once the system has been debugged and definitively launched, a dedicated website will also be activated in parallel to the smartphone app.

The system will save some €200 a month for each taxi driver, the cost of joining a radio taxi circuit. But media reports suggest that the radio taxi companies are understandably not happy about more competition, especially after the recent controversy over the Uber service.

Anyone interested in taking part in the test phase can request the app by sending an email to milanointaxi@comune.milano.it.