Sheffield-based City Taxis - which merged with Mercury Taxis just a year ago - has undergone further expansion after buying a cab firm in Barnsley.
The company grew to more than 1400 drivers last year and has now purchased A1 Ace Taxis of Barnsley for an undisclosed sum.
City Taxis said all 55 drivers and nine call centre staff from A1 Ace Taxis will be preserved. In addition the Barnsley firm’s office in Stocks Lane will remain open and they will keep the same number 01226 288888.
Kevin Flint, general manager of City Taxis, said: “Our new acquisition is an established family firm which operates to our own high service levels by embracing the latest technology in taxi dispatch and telephony services. All local jobs will be preserved and customers will find the same friendly, knowledgeable drivers and contact number they are used to. Plus, our uniformed Enhanced CRB-checked drivers will now be able to pick up fares on Barnsley’s borders, speeding up service to customers.
“Since moving to our state of the art premises in Attercliffe last year, the business has continued to grow with our 1500 dedicated call centre staff and drivers handling around six million journeys a year. Our directors are keen to expand across South Yorkshire.”
Meanwhile, City Taxis bosses have expressed concern about rival taxi firm Uber. The US company is only seven-years-old but already operates in hundreds of cities worldwide, including Sheffield. Uber enables users to book and pay for a private hire car directly through a mobile phone app rather than booking via a call centre. But its rise has provoked multiple disputes with taxi firms around the world aims claims it is not abiding by regulations - something Uber has always refuted.
Paul Gosney, business development manager at City Taxis, said: “For us the issue isn’t the expansion, it is much more How Uber are using drivers from other areas of the country. We believe in Barnsley plated vehicles for Barnsley work and Sheffield plated vehicles for Sheffield work. ‘Go local not global’ is our passion.”