DAA Taxi Permit and passenger collection restrictions will reduce taxi availability at Dublin Airport


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81% of taxi drivers believe new daa taxi permit and passenger collection restrictions will reduce taxi availability and increase wait times for passengers at Dublin Airport – according to FREENOW research

A new ‘pre-booked taxi permit’ system at Dublin Airport introduced by the daa yesterday, which will come into effect from February 21st, has caused concern for Ireland’s no.1 taxi app FREENOW, with strict passenger collection restrictions expected to negatively impact both taxi drivers and passengers seeking transport from the airport.

The new requirements announced by the daa will affect taxi drivers who don’t hold a permit to operate as part of the main taxi rank at Dublin Airport. The requirements include the following:

  • All taxi drivers in Ireland will require a new ‘pre booked taxi permit’ if they wish to collect any passengers at Dublin Airport. Drivers will be required to register and pay in advance for this new permit.
  • Drivers who purchase a new ‘pre-booked taxi permit’ will be prohibited by the daa from accepting both immediate and advance booking requests from passengers while on the grounds of Dublin Airport.
  • Enforcement measures will be implemented to impose fines on drivers who do not comply with the new by-laws.
  • Drivers without the necessary permit won’t be able to access Dublin Airport grounds and collect passengers from Zone 18, a zone that accounts for hundreds of thousands of trips annually separate to the main taxi rank in front of the airport.

Research conducted among FREENOW’s driver partners highlights a predominantly negative response from drivers to the new permit system and collection restrictions. 83% of driver partners say they are likely to avoid picking up passengers from Dublin Airport as a result of the announcement, while 80% anticipate that earnings will be negatively impacted if they are not permitted to accept a booking request within the airport campus and surrounding areas. Given that Dublin Airport is currently the most popular drop-off destination for FREENOW driver partners across Ireland (millions of airport trips completed each year) it is likely that a significant number of taxi drivers will now end up leaving the airport and returning to the city with an empty taxi.

The majority of drivers (81%) feel the new permit and collection restrictions will reduce taxi availability and increase waiting time for passengers. Given that taxis are a crucial part of the transport infrastructure at Dublin Airport, the new measures introduced by the daa could also jeopardise the quality of transport available to inbound passengers including tourists visiting Ireland.  

Commenting on the new requirements imposed on taxi drivers supporting passenger demand at Dublin Airport, FREENOW Ireland’s General Manager Charlie Gleeson said, “We were disappointed by this announcement from the daa. The new taxi permit will not only impede the ability of taxi drivers to collect passengers from Dublin Airport but could also trigger increased waiting times for passengers and potentially leave more travellers stranded at the airport, particularly at peak times.

Taxi app services play a key role as part of Dublin Airport’s transport infrastructure and we know that passengers who book taxis via the FREENOW app appreciate the flexibiity it affords them in choosing a taxi when and how they want, and they also have the ability to track their trips and project journey costs ahead of time. Unfortunately however, the new requirements could compromise the availability of taxis on our app with 83% of drivers saying they are likely to avoid airport pick-ups due to the restrictions coming into effect this month. 

FREENOW will be working with the daa in the coming weeks and months to help ensure that taxi supply is not compromised and all FREENOW’s driver partners can continue their important work without disruption.