Uber is seen as a threat to taxi companies.
There’s been a welcome among Kildare taxi drivers for a decision by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to ban Uber from using private cars.
American company Uber has produced a phone app which enables essentially anybody to pick up a fare and operate like a taxi. It is wildly popular in the US where it started first.
However the NTA has told the company that the private car element of its model, which they call 'ride sharing' is not suitable for Ireland.
Irish people may use Uber to book registered taxis, hackneys and limousines, but not private cars and the NTA has told the company that it would be simply illegal to do so and that they are "unsupportive of this proposal".
The NTA was responding to a proposed pilot scheme in Limerick. They described Uber's proposal as "operating parallel regulated and non regulated regimes".
There was a fear that allowing private car owners to take fares would undermine registered taxi drivers to make a living.
Many European countries have banned the company from using private drivers.
Local taxi firms were welcoming of the move, with Arnis of NTownTaxis saying he was “delighted to hear the news”.
He said he knew of some drivers using Uber, although it was not widely used. He said he didn’t like it, and it was good to hear of the NTA decision.