For those who follow me on Facebook, you may already know that I recently spent a week in Ireland with my wife. But in-between all the site seeing and Guinness drinking, I made a concerted effort to take Uber as much as possible and talk to as many drivers as I could.
Dublin is a very walk-able city but there are actually somewhere around 15,000 licensed taxi drivers (that’s more than in New York, a city with 7-8x the population). And unlike the US, almost all of these drivers are independent owners and operators of their vehicles. So they already enjoy much of the flexibility that we all value here in the States with Uber.
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In Dublin, Uber is mainly used by Americans and other European tourists. Many of the local Irish residents actually use a different app, called Hailo, that is immensely popular in Europe right now. Hailo is a smartphone ride-hailing app that works exactly like the Uber passenger app but for taxis. Nearly all of Dublin’s taxi drivers now use Hailo and like Uber, they are only charged if they get a fare request. There are also no weekly or monthly minimums like with traditional taxi services. [Read more…]