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Welsh Transport Minister addresses concerns over ‘Multi-Apping’ in taxi and PHV market

Welsh Transport Minister, Lee Waters, has addressed concerns regarding the growing trend of ‘multi-apping’ in the taxi market.

Multi-apping refers to the practice of drivers making themselves available for hire on multiple taxi-booking phone apps and then cancelling a trip if they receive a better offer. Minister Waters emphasised that aside from being an inconvenience, multi-apping also poses a risk to passenger safety.

His comments on the topic follow the release of consultation responses to the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (Wales) Bill unveiled by the Welsh Government.

Following the publication of the White Paper on the bill in March 2023, almost 150 consultation responses were reviewed. These responses formed part of gathering public opinion and expert insights regarding the proposed changes.

The issue of multi-apping was discussed during a recent session at the Senedd on the topic of the new Bill.

Stakeholders in the taxi industry have expressed mixed views about the causes of trip cancellations and proposed solutions. As a result, Minister Waters confirmed that the matter would be thoroughly reviewed while developing proposals to address this ongoing concern.

The practice of multi-apping has been seen as a disruptive force in the industry, causing frustration for passengers and undermining the integrity of the taxi-hailing system. While some argue that competition between drivers benefits passengers by providing more choices and lower prices, others highlight the potential risks associated with drivers prioritising lucrative fares and leaving passengers stranded.

Welsh Transport Minister, Lee Waters, said: “The phenomenon of so-called multi-apping has now become a feature of the taxi market. Drivers may make themselves available for hire on several taxi-booking phone apps at once and then cancel a trip if a better offer comes along. As well as an irritation, this also poses a risk to passenger safety.

“There were mixed views about the causes of cancellations and no consensus on the actions that would be effective to prevent them.

“So, we will continue to keep this matter under review as we develop our proposals, and I would welcome the views of Members.”


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