Tuesday 23 July 2019

Hailo fights Uber's Irish ride-share bid

A Hailo taxi
A Hailo taxi

Michael Cogley

Taxi-booking app Hailo wants to block rival Uber's plans to introduce its ride-sharing service in Ireland.

The Uber ride-sharing service allows drivers without a taxi licence to collect and charge users for trips, but is currently illegal in Ireland. A more limited version of the Uber service is available here but only through licensed taxi drivers.

In a submission to transport minister Shane Ross, who is considering a change to the current regime, Hailo said that allowing paid ride-sharing would lower standards for passengers.

"Ride-sharing, and the substantial lowering of standards that it would entail, amounts to a race to the bottom on quality and price that would jeopardise passenger safety," Hailo Ireland general manager Tim Arnold claimed.

It is understood Uber will try to convince the minister to allow it to trial its peer-to-peer ride sharing service in Limerick, where the US company has established its first Centre of Excellence outside of the US.

Uber's Limerick base will eventually employ 300 staff and supports millions of its customers across more than 30 cities in 10 countries.

While Uber's rollout here has been limited, Hailo use in Ireland has been growing.

The firm, which works with taxi-drivers, said it recently carried its 20 millionth Irish customer.

The taxi-booking giant has more than 10,000 active drivers on its network with over 500 business accounts, including, Twitter, Paddy Power, and HSBC.

"Carrying over 20 million passengers is a significant milestone and we're committed to continued growth and innovation without compromising passenger, driver and road user safety with unnecessary revisions to the law," Mr Arnold said.

Irish Independent

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