Tipperary welcome for ban on Uber using private cars for passenger journeys

Tipperary welcome for ban on Uber using private cars for passenger journeys

Uber won't be allowed to use private cars for passenger journeys.

 

 

Tipperary taxi and hackney drivers will welome the decision to refuse permission to ride-sharing company Uber to operate in Ireland.

This would have allowed people to book a ride with a private owner through an app

Currently Irish customers can only book a taxi or limousine through the Uber app rather than a private car.

The plan would  have represented a huge blow to operators in towns such as Clonmel where a hackney system operates.

There are fears that many could go out of business if people had the opportuntiy to by-pass them and book a private car through the Uber system.

There were suggestions that the system may work in large population centres such as Dublin but not in smaller towns such as Clonmel and other towns in the county.

Uber had made a request for a pilot scheme in Limerick that would allow private car users offer their services to passengers.

This would have meant a real threat to the livelihood of hackney drivers in Clonmel and taxi operators elsewhere in Tipperary.

However the National Transport Authority (NTA) told the San Francisco-based company its model was not appropriate for Ireland.

In a letter issued through a Freedom of Information request from RTÉ, the NTA said the proposal for a pilot scheme in Limerick that would allow private car users offer their services to passengers through Uber was “undesirable”.

The authority told Uber it was not legal to operate an unlicensed ride sharing serving in Ireland.

It went further to state that, even if such a service was legal, it would not support the Uber proposal. The NTA said operating an unregulated regime would undermine the regulated taxi sector.

The authority told Uber: “Notwithstanding the above legislative position, it should be stated that the NTA is unsupportive of this proposal.

“Operating parallel regulated and non regulated regimes, even on a pilot basis is undesirable in our view and can only serve to undermine the regulated transport system . . . the issue of unfair competition arises. This is not an approach which could be supported by the NTA.”

While would-be passengers might have welcomed the Uber plan, with  much reduced fares for travel in private cars, it would have come at a cost for taxi and hackey operators.

In Tipperary, as elsewhere, the the refusal will be warmly welcomed.