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Decision to prevent Uber setting up in Ireland has been welcomed in Donegal

NTA told company its model not appropriate for Ireland

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Broad welcome among Kildare taxi drivers for Uber ban

Uber is seen as a threat to taxi companies.

The decision to prevent Uber setting up its ride-sharing business in Ireland has been welcomed in Donegal.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has told the company its model was not appropriate for Ireland.
Uber links passengers with private car owners through an app. It has been described as a “disruptive technology” as it threatens the traditional model of taxi and limousine hire. Currently, Irish customers can only book a taxi or limousine through the Uber app rather than a private car.
The company had been trying to set up a ride-sharing pilot scheme in Limerick by using private cars as it does in other countries.
The NTA said the proposal for a pilot scheme in Limerick that would allow private car users to offer their services to passengers through Uber was “undesirable”.
The authority told Uber it was not legal to operate an unlicensed ride-sharing service in Ireland.
The news will be welcomed by the taxi industry in the country but may disappoint customers who see it as an option to provide cheaper taxi fares.
Hugh McFadden, a well-known taxi driver and former spokesman for the now defunct Letterkenny Taxi Association, said the decision to prevent Uber setting up its service here was the right one.
“As an operating taxi driver it would not go down well with us at all,” he said. “We are regulated to the hilt and are probably over regulated. The taxi regulator is doing as much as he can with the best of what he has but it's still not enough. The way things are, it is very hard to survive in this business with insurance away up.
“I would not welcome Uber and you wouldn't get a taxi or hackney driver who was for it. Members of the public might be happy with it because they don't really care.”