In a surprise move, The Wilaya of Casablanca declared the activities of mobile application Yassir as illegal. In their statement shared with Moroccan state media, they denied issuing any form of authorization for the company to manage public transportation in Casablanca. They went ahead to threaten sanctions on the company staff and taxi operators.
Night-time taxi app Yassir was created in 2007 in Algeria and operates across three North African countries; Tunisia, Algeria, and Morrocco. The company also serves Tangier, Agadir, Marrakech, and Rabat. Operations in Casablanca began in October 2019 and it remains unclear why local authorities issued this statement 14 months after they began operations.
Yasir was launched by a North American-North African company offering night-time taxi reservations to residents around Casablanca on October 15th. The service allows customers to order a taxi in the same manner as ridesharing startup Uber. What makes it different is it works with actual taxi drivers rather than independent drivers. Users will enter the destination address and their current location.
Users enter the addresses of their destination and current location then the app links them with the nearest driver closeby. After the ride, the passenger and driver rate each other. The app focussed on ride times between 8 pm. and 7 am. when it is most difficult for taxi drivers to find passengers and vice versa. The price of the new app is fairly higher than traditional taxis, however, it has gone out of its way into solving the traditional problems faced by taxi drivers and independent drivers.
In February 2018, Uber shut down its operations in Morrocco, only three years after launch. This shutdown was prompted by taxi drivers who staged protests blaming the American company for unfair competition.