One of the top stories on Techmeme this morning is about a new service launched by the French government called Le.Taxi. When I saw the story, my first thought was that I hope they actually used a .Taxi domain name instead of creating a more confusing brand name. After checking, I see that the brand and domain name match, and voila, we have Le.Taxi.
The Techmeme headline referenced an article found on Motherboard. Here’s an excerpt of what was written about Le.Taxi this morning:
“On Tuesday, France’s transportation department officially launched Le.Taxi, a service designed to enable people to electronically hail traditional French cabs via the Internet, similar to how customers get rides from Uber. Le.Taxi uses geolocation technology to generate a nationwide database of the whereabouts of taxis, and lets people across the country select the nearest ride.”
The Le.Taxi domain name was registered in August of 2015. It looks like the current registrant is the original registrant of the domain name. I am unsure if Le.Taxi was a reserved domain name and/or if it has a premium annual renewal rate. The .Taxi extension is operated by Donuts. According to nTLDStats.com, there are just under 5,400 registered .Taxi domain names in existence. LeTaxi.com has been registered since 2002, is owned by someone in California, and that domain name is presently unused.
As I have discussed many times over the years, I think Europeans are more accustomed to looking to the right of the dot because of the prevalence of ccTLD domain names used throughout Europe. For this reason, I think the .Taxi domain name makes sense for this service.
I wouldn’t take a guess about whether or not Le.Taxi will be successful or not, but it is interesting to see a French governmental organization using a new gTLD domain name.