Uber "disappointed" after plans to expand in Ireland blocked

The company wanted to run a pilot ride sharing scheme in Limerick

International ride-share giant Uber has said it is disappointed the government will not approve its plans to expand in Ireland. 

The company wanted to run a pilot ride sharing scheme in Limerick. 

Uber operates a ride-share system letting people give lifts to others in their area - but because of current laws they're not allowed to do it in Ireland.

Anyone taking a payment in exchange for bringing someone somewhere has to be regulated and drive specific vehicles. 

Taxi Federation President Joe Heron said allowing Uber drivers to ride-share without the same regulations would be unfair:

“If you look at the cost of setting up in the taxi business, it is huge,” he said. 

“You are paying up to €50,000 for a wheelchair accessible vehicle; you are paying up to €13,000 for insurance – and to be in competition with somebody who just uses their private car, with private car insurance etc. – it just would be totally unfair competition.” 

Uber had been looking for an exception to this to run a pilot scheme in Limerick. 

They also wanted to operate ride-sharing in Dublin to ease congestion in the city. 

These Dublin city taxi drivers are unsympathetic to the company: 

The National Transport Authority has written to Uber to say they will not be supporting the measures. 

Uber has said it is disappointed but they will continue to operate in Ireland and will make further submissions to the government on the issue.