Jersey minister 'would welcome global taxi app Uber'

Taxi cabs Image copyright Ryan Morrison
Image caption There are two types of taxi in Jersey - private hire cabs and rank taxis

A global app-based taxi booking service could operate in Jersey under plans by the transport minister.

Deputy Eddie Noel said he would welcome a company such as the US firm Uber, which has disrupted taxi services elsewhere.

Deputy Noel said change was needed in the industry, including better use of technology.

Mick Tostevin, of the taxi drivers' association, said it was unlikely that Uber could compete with rank taxis.

Uber, based in San Francisco, uses a smartphone app to receive requests for taxi journeys and sends these to drivers. Customers can also use it to track the location of their reserved taxi.

Mr Tostevin said: "As far as we are concerned, the rank is the rank, and we are there for immediate hire. I don't think the best app in the world is going to remove that.

"You will still have a large amount of people leaving the clubs on a Saturday night, I can't see them using their phones and these cabs magically appear."

Digital minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, said Uber-style apps allowed an increase in supply of drivers as required.

He said: "The attraction of an Uber-type app is that it does not require government to impose limits on the numbers of drivers.

"Uber-type apps open up new opportunities for people to earn money and attract all sorts of additional drivers..."

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