MyTaxi to introduce new ride-share service

The service will only use fully licensed taxi drivers

MyTaxi to introduce new ride-share service

MyTaxi logo pictured on a taxi at the airport in Hamburg, Germany, 03-09-2014. Image: Daniel Reinhardt/DPA/PA Images

MyTaxi has announced plans to introduce a new a cab-sharing service for passengers.

The service will allow users going in the same direction to share rides - thus cutting the cost of their trip and potentially freeing up more taxis in urban centres.

The company piloted the new service in the Polish capital of Warsaw in recent months.

The concept is similar to that used by UberPOOL, however Newstalk's tech correspondent Jess Kelly said the service will only use fully licensed taxi drivers.

"It is going to be fully regulated," she said. "All the drivers are going to be licensed drivers."

"But the concept is if three people on Friday night are looking for a taxi and they are going the same direction; they can share or split the fare and try and reduce the pressure and the demand on taxi drivers."

MyTaxi hopes to roll the new service out across Europe in 2018 - however Joe Heron, president of the Irish Taxi Federation (ITF) has warned that it could pose real problems for taxi drivers.

"It presents certain dangers in that the three people; they don't know each other and you don't know what might arise between them," he said.

"The taxi driver would be the one responsible for the safety of those passengers."

He insisted there is "no need" for the service - despite the fact that it could provide customers going longer distances with significant savings.

"It would be very hard to control a situation like that and the only time that there would be the slightest necessity for it would be at times of high demand," he said.

"It is always likely that some problems would break out between them."

It comes after MyTaxi - the German company which took over Hailo - announced that drivers will no longer be required to waive a €2 booking fee for fares booked through its app.

The €2 cost was passed on to customers - leading to widespread complaints - and this latest move is seen as a potential way to appease passengers.

MyTaxi operates in almost 100 cities in nine European countries.