Just 32 taxis and licensed vehicles have been added to the capital city’s ranks in 2022, Fine Gael TD for Dublin Rathdown Neale Richmond has said.
Deputy Richmond said: “The lack of taxis in Dublin is becoming a serious issue. Whether it is day or night, weekday or weekend, accessing a taxi in the city has become extremely difficult since the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
“Swift action is needed to increase the numbers of taxis in Dublin. People are left wandering the streets after a night out trying to hail a taxi in person or through an app, often competing with hundreds of people for a handful of taxis.
“According to figures released to me by the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, so far in 2022 there have only been 32 additional taxis and licensed vehicles added to our ranks, giving us a total of 10,087 taxis in Dublin.
“Not only do we have a lack of taxis, but drivers are choosing not to work when we need them the most. Only 29% of taxi drivers are currently working during the evenings, weekends or on bank holidays.
“The NTA are proposing a 12% hike in fares to make the industry more lucrative, however, we cannot let this burden fall on passengers who are already facing increased costs everywhere they turn.
“We need to help incentivise people to turn to this career; by reducing the costs of taxi licenses and slashing the cost of airport taxi permits, as well as removing unnecessary bureaucracy that makes it difficult for drivers with suitable vehicles to access these licenses.
“An easy transfer of licenses between family members should also be examined as a potential solution.
“Deregulating the taxi industry and reducing the second mortgage cost of a taxi license was one of the great success stories for public transport users in Dublin. Similar action needs to be taken now to drive down the cost of running a taxi.
“The lack of taxis is not the fault of the drivers or the passengers so we must ensure that neither pay the price for this lack of supply.
“Apps such as Uber and Lyft can also help to step in to meet demand as is the case in most European cities.
“As we work on building up our taxi supply, we must also improve our late-night public transport options. That means more 24-hour Dublin Bus services, more Nitelink routes and more late-night LUAS services.
“We cannot sit idly by while issues within the taxi industry grow, we need to take action now to protect and support drivers, while also ensuring that those trying to access a taxi are safe and can do so as easily as possible” Deputy Richmond concluded.