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Smartphone taxi service launches in Dublin

The app sends you a picture of your driver, the roof sign number and a real time arrival countdown.

Image: James Horan/Photocall Ireland

A NEW SMARTPHONE service, Hailo, launches today in Dublin, enabling people to book and pay for taxis with just two taps.

The app which matches passengers and licensed taxi drivers is the brainchild of three London cab drivers.

Hailo allows customers to hail a taxi through their smartphone and pay automatically with a credit or debit card with no charges above the meter.

Colm Ó Cuilleanáin, Managing Director of Hailo, said the demand for taxis has fallen more than 30 percent in Dublin between 2008 and 2011 as people look for better value.

Hailo has already been successfully launched in London where they have over 4,500 black cab drivers registered and the app has been downloaded nearly 300,000 times by consumers.

Once you book your taxi, you see a picture of your driver, the roof sign number, a real-time countdown of the taxi’s arrival and a call button if you need to contact the driver for any reason.

Customers also get a notification when the driver arrives and an instant mail receipt.

“We have seen a large uptake by women who want to avoid any potentially unpleasant experiences, and want the convenience of a taxi at two taps,” Ó Cuilleanáin said.

“It also ensures safety for the passenger knowing that they have a record of the driver, as well as for the driver who knows this is a cashless transaction which helps eliminate potential fare disagreements. If the passenger loses any personal items, they will know what taxi they were in and when as it will produce a receipt.”

All taxis registered with the service must be officially licensed and are put through rigorous checks by Hailo before they are added to the network.

Hailos has hired ten employees in Dublin to run its Irish operations.The app is free to download via and App Store and for the Android market and there is no monthly fee for drivers registering with the service.

Read also: App for taxi customers monitors route and average fare>

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