Italy's taxis enter new deal with Uber

Italian taxi drivers do business with Uber in an unlikely new alliance.

Uber has integrated its ride-hailing app with Italy's leading taxi dispatch service itTaxi as part of a new deal available in more than 90 Italian cities as of 27 July.

The move means that it is now possible to book a ride using the Uber app that will involve around 12,000 taxi drivers in Italy, including about 3,700 taxis in Rome from the Radiotaxi 3570 cooperative.

The agreement, which follows similar deals in other countries, will see Uber launch in more than 80 new Italian cities as well as expanding its existing business in major cities including Rome and Milan.

The move was hailed as "truly historic" by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as "truly historic" while the general manager of Uber Italy, Lorenzo Pireddu, said the agreement will allow Rome "to take an important step forward in urban mobility".

ItTaxi consortium Loreno Bittarelli said the move was "a strategic partnership for our entire sector and an important step forward for the development and growth of our work".

"I believe that it will bring advantages to taxi drivers who will see requests for fares grow " - said Bittarelli - "Not only will we work more but we will also work better, avoiding unnecessary waiting and therefore optimising our working days."

The deal comes after years of opposition to Uber from Italy's taxi drivers, including recent protests in Rome against the government's competition bill over claims that deregulating the sector would favour multinationals over independent drivers.