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Aug 27, 2015 12:51 PM

New company challenging Uber in Portsmouth with app to order taxi ride


PORTSMOUTH — The ride-sharing company Uber has a new competitor - a company named WINIcabs that is working with existing taxi companies in the region.

According to seacoastonline.com, the acronym stands for "when I need it, where I need it" and it will allow people to order a cab through their smartphones.

Users download a WINI app, click on it for a taxi ride and the technology will find the nearest taxi and report back. The app is available from the Apple Store, Google Play and coming soon to the Windows Store, he said.

When a user accepts the ride, they receive a message with information about the cab company, the driver's name and the number of the cab. At the end of a ride, users get information about the route they took, when they took it and how much it cost. Customers can pay by credit or, unlike Uber, with cash. There's also a pre-booking option.

Founder and CEO Paul O'Loughlin Kennedy said he plans to expand worldwide but keep his headquarters in Portsmouth, where he expects to have 25 people working for him in the next six months.

O'Loughlin Kennedy is partnering with Ri Ra Irish Pub in Market Square, where taxis can be hailed from a tablet through WINI's "EZ Hail" platform. O'Loughlin Kennedy said he expects eventually to expand to City Hall, hospital lobbies, malls and airports.

Also coming, he said, is a family plan that allows parents to hail, track and fund rides for their children. In addition, O'Loughlin Kennedy is working with the University of New Hampshire on a student program to allow students, in emergency situations, to hail a cab through WINI and pay for it later.

"This is exactly what our business needs," said Drew Babich, owner of Annie’s Taxi. "We are thrilled that WINI is rolling out in Portsmouth first.”

"We were on board immediately," said Doug Cormier, owner of Market Square Taxi. “In addition to the much-needed app, the taxi company management system that comes with it is great.”


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