Thursday 21 February 2019

Fianna Fáil backs proposal for 'Uber-style' taxis to serve rural communities

  

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Fianna Fáil has backed a proposal for an 'Uber-style' rural taxi service, with transport spokesman Robert Troy saying it could bring about a "resurgence in social life" in isolated areas.

It comes after junior Fine Gael minister Jim Daly called for such a service, dubbed 'Ruxi', due to a shortage of taxis in rural communities.

In other countries the Uber app allows drivers to use private cars to carry paying passengers, but in Ireland the service is limited to licensed taxis. Mr Daly has proposed that Garda-vetted drivers would be permitted to charge passengers in rural areas.

Mr Troy said Mr Daly's proposals warrant further examination at the Oireachtas Transport Committee.

Meanwhile, the 'Ruxi' idea was debated at last night's Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting. Dubin TD Colm Brophy was among those who questioned the proposals. He asked whether the service would work if licensed taxi drivers had higher insurance costs than drivers using their own cars.

Mr Daly himself spoke in defence of the plan, saying rural transport is a "bread and butter" issue for many.

Irish Independent

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