Urgent Action Required to Address Taxi Supply Crisis in Ireland – Taxis for Ireland Coalition

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TDs & Senators called on to address the issue at Leinster House event

The Taxis for Ireland Coalition has renewed its calls for Government to act urgently to address the chronic shortage of taxis across Ireland, particularly during peak times. Speaking to TDs and Senators in Leinster House, Taxis for Ireland members pointed to research that clearly demonstrates the difficulty people all over Ireland are experiencing when trying to access taxi services. This comes following a recent meeting between the Coalition and the National Transport Authority (NTA) and correspondence with the Taoiseach and Minister for Transport on this issue.

A report recently commissioned by Bolt revealed that in Dublin nearly half (43%) of requested trips by customers can go unfulfilled at peak times (between Friday midday and Sunday morning), and even the least constrained period of the week, Monday afternoon to Thursday afternoon, has a 16% shortfall. The report indicates that the problem is more pronounced in Cork, where 56% of peak time requests are unfulfilled and 40% of off peak.

Separate research carried out by YouGov on behalf of members of the Coalition in January 2024 has shown that 39% of people in Ireland are concerned about getting home safely due to the shortage of taxis. 64% of those surveyed said that action should be taken to help increase the number of taxis in Ireland.

Coalition members held a briefing on Wednesday, 31st January, in Leinster House. The session, which saw cross-party attendance from the Oireachtas, featured a presentation on the issue, emphasising the necessity for government intervention.

Speaking ahead of the briefing, Donall O’Keeffe, CEO of the Licensed Vintners Association, said, “The current taxi shortage poses a direct threat to our late night economy – bars, late bars and nightclubs –  with customers leaving venues early due to the difficulties they will face in getting taxis home. The safety of our patrons is of paramount importance, yet the taxi shortage is affecting this. We are calling for measures to rectify the shortfall and protect the late-night economy of our Capital city.

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, stated, “The scarcity of taxis is disrupting the dining experience for our customers, with many facing challenges just getting to and from rural and urban restaurants. This shortfall urgently needs to be rectified to ensure the viability of our restaurants.”

The Coalition proposes four key policy recommendations to mitigate the taxi supply shortage:

  1. Establish minimum market-based targets for an increased Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSV) driver and vehicle license population by 2026.
  2. Develop policies and actions to meet these targets promptly.
  3. Reevaluate the current requirement for new SPSVs to be Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs).
  4. Rethink the emphasis on geography-based knowledge in the SPSV Driver Entry Test due to technological advancements.