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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Cian Healy swaps jeep for controversial taxi

BRIAN BYRNE

Published 10/01/2014 | 15:41

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Ireland prop Cian Healy has been ruled out for eight weeks following surgery on his right ankle.

Rugby star Cian Healy was the first person to catch a ride with a controversial new private car hire service.

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Like other taxi companies, Uber allows customers to book a vehicle using a smart phone application, but the Google-backed company differs in that it caters to each customer’s budget.

Healy who is known for his taste in 4X4 vehicles became the first person here to sample the new service which offers a variety of different vehicles, ranging from everyday to luxury cars, with increasing fares to match.

The service charges customers a minimum price of a €12 – along with a €12 cancellation fee.

Since launching in San Francisco in 2009, Uber has extended its services worldwide, grabbing a €185m investment from web giant Google along the way.

However, it sparked controversy on New Year’s Eve 2011 when its “surge pricing” service, which raises prices based on customer demand, charged users as much as seven times the normal rate.

The company has also been accused of failing to adhere to taxi regulations on several occasions.

Uber Dublin is currently operating a test phase, offering a limited number of vehicles at a reduced rate to customers.

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