The National Transport Authority (NTA) should waive the need for taximeters to be recalibrated for the upcoming public holiday on March 18th to relieve the financial burden on taxi drivers, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Regina Doherty said, “The new, once-off public holiday next Friday, March 18th, in recognition of frontline workers and in remembrance of those who lost their lives to Covid-19 is very much welcome. However, for workers in the taxi industry, it will also mean that taximeters must be recalibrated twice.
“There is a significant cost involved in recalibrating a meter which is required when taxi fares increase on bank holidays; it will cost drivers €165 next week to recalibrate their meter twice.
“It is entirely untenable to charge €165 in one week, to workers who can barely afford to pay it. Under the current NTA regulations, even drivers who will not work next Friday will have to pay to get their meters recalibrated.
“I have written to the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan to ask him to direct the NTA to waive the requirement for taximeters to be recalibrated on March 18th. This is a once-off public holiday for everyone. It’s a holiday that frontline workers have earned, and we must see action from the NTA to relieve drivers of the recalibration requirement and the associated fee.
“It would be completely unfair to take even more money from the workers in the taxi industry; workers who are often overlooked, but who went to great lengths at the heights of the pandemic to ensure their passengers safety.
“Drivers carried on with their essential work, often putting their own health at risk, to drive people to their destinations. They deserve our gratitude and waiving these fees is the very least we owe them.”