A TAXI firm which has sparked controversy is eyeing up a move into Aberdeen, the Evening Express can reveal today.
US firm Uber, which is partly owned by Google, is looking at launching its service in the city from next year.
The move follows high levels of interest, calculated by the number of people in Aberdeen downloading the firm’s smartphone app.
The company – which is used in around 300 cities across the world and launched in Glasgow on Friday – connects passengers to a driver through the app, with the firm taking 20% of the fare.
A spokeswoman for Uber said: “Uber’s ambition is to be everywhere – any progressive, forward-thinking city – that has a need for safe, reliable and efficient transportation, we want to be there.
“We are part of a broader mobility movement, and we are constantly exploring our options, including those in Aberdeen.”
Uber says its drivers are required to pass enhanced disclosure checks.
And the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), which represents thousands of London cabbies, took the company to the High Court in London arguing its app broke licensing laws.
However, judges have ruled the app was lawful.
Russell McLeod, managing director of Aberdeen’s Rainbow City Taxis, said he thought business would be impacted if Uber arrived, but he would not object as long as the firm had to follow the same rules as other taxi companies.
He said: “I think Uber in Aberdeen would have an impact on the taxi trade. But the only thing I would hope is that they work under the same rules as everyone else.
“The reality is that the taxi trade in the city would bring a legal challenge if this wasn’t to be the case.
“But I don’t think Aberdeen City Council would issue a different set of rules.”