Using taxi hailing apps at Dublin Airport

There’s been some discussion recently about whether taxis should be forced to accept card payments.

When arriving at an airport you would have thought it would be especially important that taxis accept credit and debit cards – but it seems there’s no requirement on the taxis licensed to pick up at Dublin airport to take cards.

Here’s a recent tweet from the Dublin Airport twitter account in response to a question on the matter:

One obvious way to ensure you can pay by card is to book a taxi using one of the hailing apps such as myTaxi. But there doesn’t appear to be anywhere in Dublin Airport for passengers to get picked up by app-hailed taxis.

Only certain pre-approved taxis are allowed to join the official airport taxi rank, and so app-hailed pickups often take place at other random parts of the airport – at the departures drop-off area, at the bus stops, or on some random side-street. The taxis aren’t allowed to wait in these areas, so they circle the airport until their passengers are in position and then swoop in collect them.

I tweeted Dublin Airport to ask them if they had a designated area for pre-booked taxis to pick up passengers, but they never replied to me. I guess their answer would be that they would prefer that taxis park up in the short-term car park, and come into the terminal to collect passengers – but they would say that, because they generate a lot of revenue from their car parks!

Also as a passenger I don’t really want to pay the additional parking fees for my taxi.

So what’s the solution?

Maybe Dublin Airport needs to think about providing a designated area (perhaps where all the buses park up and wait) in the airport for app-hailed taxi pickups – one that allows taxis to wait for a few minutes for their passengers to arrive.

Hailo Promo Code

Hailo taxi app has introduced a new friends and family referral discount scheme.

All new customers that make their first journey using the Hailo app and pay by credit/debit card will get a free €5.00 discount off their taxi fare. To get the discount simply use the following promo code when signing up for an account:

RICHA4165

The offer is open only to new customers, and applies to the first journey only. A value of €5.00 will automatically be deducted from your taxi fair, and any balance will be charged to your card.

As it’s a referral scheme, I’ll also get a free €5 credit to my account!

Update: On 26th September 2016 Hailo reduced the referral discount from €10 to €5, so I’ve updated this post to reflect the reduced amount. The code still works, but you get a smaller discount.

Update 2: Hailo no longer exists. The app was discontinued when it was bought out by the Daimler owned app MyTaxi. As such, the referral codes no longer work.

Cyclists aren’t the problem; they’re part of the solution

Taxi drivers seems to be the worst about vocalising their dislike of cyclists. I can't seem to take a cab ride without the driver complaining about cyclists being in the way and slowing them down.

But what they don't realise is that they've got it all wrong. Having to wait before you can safely overtake a cyclist may cost you a few extra seconds on your journey – but the real people who are slowing down your commute aren't cyclists, they are other drivers.

In the city drivers spend significantly more time stuck in queues behind other cars than they do being held up by cyclists.

If you want proof, just think about what happens to the roads when the schools are on holiday. Car commute times often fall dramatically during the holidays, and that's just from a 10-15% drop in traffic volumes.

So what about the cyclists, who account for just over 10% of all traffic in Dublin city centre. Suppose they all suddenly decided one day to stop cycling.  Would the roads be better? No, it would be gridlock!

People mostly cycle distances that are too great to walk. So if they're going to stop cycling and switch to a different mode of transport, then they're either going to end up driving or taking public transport – and you would have thought, if the public transport was any good, they'd already be using it.

In fact, you've probably already witnessed the problem when we get bad weather.  People who would otherwise cycle or walk to work suddenly decide to drive when it starts raining or snowing, and as such the traffic around the city grinds to a halt.

So… drivers (particularly taxi drivers), when you think about it you should be THANKING cyclists for helping to keep traffic on the move.

Hailo

I’ve had the Hailo app on my iPhone for a while now, but it’s only in the last couple of weeks that I’ve started using it, and I’m already a covert!

Hailo App Dublin

Hailo App Dublin

Available for free on both iPhone and Android smartphones, Hailo will help you hail a taxi more quickly, more easily, and more safely.

When you launch the app, it automatically works out where you are, and also where all the nearest taxis are – and displays them all on a map. If you then decide to book a cab, it’ll send out a message to the nearest car, and let you know as soon as it’s booked – all within a few seconds – and will continue to track the taxi as it makes its way to you.

The service relies upon taxis signing up to the service, and it seems that more and more of the city’s drivers are using it. Over the last few weeks, I’ve talked to several drivers about their experiences of using Hailo. Without exception, they love it, as it gives them more work – and it’s also much cheaper for them than using a traditional radio booking system. Some drivers are using Hailo to supplement the jobs they get over the radio, but in one case a driver told me that he had cancelled his ties to a cab company (and the associated fixed cost of €150 a week – regardless of the amount of work it yielded) and was using Hailo exclusively.

For the passengers too the Hailo app had lots of advantages. As I said, the app can identify where you are – and it’s a simple matter to pinpoint the exact address by typing in the house number. You can also specify what size of taxi you want – with options for 1-4 passengers, 6 passengers, 7 passengers, 8 passengers, or a wheelchair accessible cab – and so, if you have a big party, you can filter your search for taxis that meet your requirements.

Another big advantage of Hailo is that you can pre-define one or more credit/debit cards, and select to pay by card as part of the booking. The removes the worry about having enough cash to pay for your journey. Most taxis will take payment by credit/debit card already, but it can seem like a bit of a faff to pay by card, as it takes a while to process. But not with Hailo. As soon as you arrive, the driver can take payment with a single press (and you can decide to tip your driver), and an email receipt is sent out straight away.

When you book the cab, you get told the details of the driver that’s coming to get you, including their name, badge number and car registration – which makes it a lot safer, as you know you’re getting into the right car. Hailo vets drivers themselves, so you also have that added sense of safety, so that if something does happen during your journey it’s possible to trace who your driver was.

And finally, if you accidentally leave something behind in the cab you can report the loss through the app.

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