Saturday 20 December 2014

Taxi drivers' union: Commuters should be able to pay 15 per cent taxi fare increase

Eoghan McNeill

Published 15/08/2014 | 13:57

Leinster House bosses face an embarrassing 333,412 euro tax settlement over incorrectly recorded staff taxi runs and other claims

TAXI users should be able to afford a proposed ten to 15 per cent increase in taxi fares - according to a taxi drivers' union.

The fare hike, which is currently being considered by the The National Transport Authority (NTA), is believed to be worth an extra €50 per week to drivers.

The ongoing review will feature a  public consultation process next month and prices could be in place for winter.

“I presume [customers] can afford it if they’re using taxis. We’re providing a service – it’s only fair we get an increase,” spokesperson Christy Humphries of National Private Hire and Taxi Association (NPHTA), told independent.ie.

“I’m not happy about going through this consultation process. A consultancy firm is being paid a fortune just to see if we need a fare increase. Everybody’s getting money out of the taxi industry, bar the taxi drivers,” he said.  

A likely increase of ten per cent on a taxi fare would see the standard fare rate of €4.10 for the first kilometre jump to €4.51.

Each additional kilometre would then cost €1.13, as opposed to the current price of €1.03.

Fares were last increased by the NTA in 2008 when they were raised by 8.3 per cent.

Since then, increased costs and new legislation have made a price-hike a necessity, according to Humphries:

“Fuel costs have risen, bus and rail prices have risen. The nine year rule was introduced eighteen months ago and we can only use our cars for nine years now. That’s affecting us,” he said.

Humphries maintains an increase of ten to fifteen per cent would help taxi drivers struggling to make a living.

“It would mean an extra €50/60 per week to drivers. They’re struggling. You only have to look at the number of taxis out there and the competition from private rental cars and public transport to see that,” he said. 

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