Dublin Taxis

Taxis – there is a need to integrate the whole transport system to include buses, taxis, rail, Luas and taxibuses.

Picture is from the Taxi Discussion in depth on 'Coleman at Large' and and show Bill with John Keane of Capital Taxis and Vinny Kearns of Xpert Digi Taxis. Also on the show were Aiden Moore of the National Taxi Union, Peter O'Byrne Taxi driver and part time actor and comedian and Lisa Core of Capital Taxis.

There are about 16,000 taxis in Dublin now compared to about 2000 taxis in 2000 when the system was blown open to all-comers.

Currently, there are four representative bodies for taxis. The Taxi Regulator says that she has the job of implementing good quality standards in the industry. Goodbody’s provided reports on the Taxis in 2005 and again in 2008. They found that the income of taxi drivers was on average below the average industrial wage; that many worked >70 hours per week and that use of taxis by the public was paid for in their budget for social and recreational spending.

The European Work Place Directive apparently does not apply to self-employed taxi drivers. The office of the Ombudsman and the Labour Courts are excluded from involvement in the taxi industry. This would indicate to me that the Taxi Regulator may be responsible for the health consequences in the industry of the deregulated changes especially if heed of obvious consequences for drivers such as increased stress leading to heart disease, hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and suicides from exogenous depression has not been taken.

Taxi driver employers must be aware of the European Work Time Directive. In the case of part time taxi drivers, how can people on 40 hr per week PAYE jobs drive a taxi when they have signed a form stating that they will work in the taxi for at least 40 hours per week. This will immediately involve work time directives and laws on rest. Tachgraphs are resisted by taxi drivers for their own reasons.

These issues may need judicial clarification.

The issues I am aware of are the nine year rule for taxis and the issues of wheel chair compatible vehicles.

There is also the issue of the taxi drivers earning less than the minimum wage as a consequence regulator actions. Is that law in its operation reasonable and legal in relation to EU Regulations in workers rights?

The Taxi Regulator has accumulated > €17 – €23 million from regulatory licence income and there needs to be a reset of charges in favour of the licencees.

Other issues are the high costs of taxi trips in Ireland by comparison with foreign cities.

The most interesting innovation that I have seen from the taxi industry is in Rimouski Quebec, Canada the Taxibus scheme was established in the 1996 to rely on taxis for all public transport for a set fee or a monthly pass for frequent users. Other issues are the use of taxis to replace buses for low load periods. School runs – M50 transits.

SOLUTIONS

  1. Integrate taxis with Dublin Bus and rail
  2. Get taxi companies to tender for these jobs
  3. Let the HSE tender for patient transport and for special deals for moving pensioners.
  4. Control number of taxis to serve people in a reasonable manner.
  5. Prevent part time drivers who are full-time PAYE elsewhere working longer than the maximum allowed under EU directives.
  6. Let the Taxi Regulator part subsidise the replacement of nine year old vehicles under a sliding scale of duration of occupation.