This week I spoke to Sara Morris head of Communications & Public Affairs, from The National Transport Authority (The new Taxi Regulator) in Ireland. I got the low-down on Taxi Statistics in Ireland. Here are some of her answers.
Turns out “The total number of active licensed drivers in Ireland as of end March 2016 was 26,892, of which 14,350 have Dublin county entitlement.” Unfortunately, Sara couldn’t tell me how many of these were male and how many were female as these statistics aren’t categorised into genders. But from my recently acquired knowledge of taxi drivers – very few are female. Over the two years of my Masters in Griffith College I have been getting 1-3 taxis a week. All in all I have had two female taxi drivers. BUT…. fear not Angel Cab Taxi Service is Ireland’s first female friendly taxi service. So if you’re in need of a female taxi driver Angel Cabs are your ladies. (Women are the stronger sex when it comes to driving anyway!)
Who says we don’t like to complain in this country? In 2015, “The largest single category of the 928 customer complaints was ‘driver conduct’, with 491 complaints. After that it was complaints about fares, at 297.” Some more information is available here.
But it’s not all bad – I have had nothing but good encounters with taxi drivers. One adventurous night out in Dundalk lead to me getting out of the taxi without my phone, and minutes later as I was gorging into a curry cheese chip the taxi man arrived back at my door with my iPhone in hand, how nice!
Another man, Peter Caul got a taxi home from his work in Dublin city some months back. He managed to misplace 50 euro in the taxi, so obviously thought it was gone forever! Then he got a note through his letter box a few days later with the 50 euro enclosed inside from the Taxi man. There’s still some good people out there! See the full story here.
Unregistered taxis are an issue in Ireland, over 100 unregistered/illegal taxis were prosecuted for having no driving licences in the last number of years. Sara told me, “A licensed taxi carries, on the inside face of the front and rear windscreens, a tamper-proof licence disc that displays essential licence information, e.g. the type and colour of the car, the licence number, the vehicle registration number, licence expiry date and the maximum passenger capacity. This is the secure identifier signifying a licensed taxi.”
This disc should be present in all registered taxis.
And finally, yes as you can imagine taxi fares have increased this year – by 4% “The fare is reviewed every 2 years. It is due for review this year and previously was last revised after review in 2014 at which time the fare structure was simplified and an average increase of 4% applied to the existing (2012) levels.”
But if you’re from the country like myself taxi fares will usually hit a 10 euro max rate to your nearest town (or you may get of lucky if the taxi driver thinks he’s already got his fiver of you). Why – because we don’t believe in taxi meters out here (Cavan people don’t care about money don’t you know!)