Dublin taxi drivers work 'just five hours a day', new survey finds
Dublin taxi drivers work an average of just under five hours a day, but collect the most fare revenue per hour compared to their colleagues in Cork and Athlone.
An analysis of driver earnings and work patterns from the National Transport Authority (NTA) showed that drivers in the capital work 5.3 days per week, and that they were hired for just 42pc of the time they were on the road.
The survey, which is based on meter data collected from 58 drivers over a three-month period last year, showed that the average fare was €14.97, compared with €12.96 in Cork and €10.72 in Athlone, and that Dublin drivers averaged revenues of €24.80 per hour.
Across the week, the average amount collected by Dublin drivers was €635.
This compared with €650 in Cork, and €382 in Athlone.
However, the data showed that earnings varied considerably - the lowest revenue per week was put at €98, rising to a high of €1,189.
The survey was commissioned as part of efforts to determine the average incomes of taxi drivers, and to discover if there was a low usage of taxis.
Data from more than 50,000 trips, accounting for €700,000 in fare income, was analysed.
In all, 85 drivers took part in the study, of which 58 were in the capital.
The study came as separate figures from the NTA showed that the number of taxi licences issued continued to fall.
As of December 31 last, there were 21,146 active licences in use. This compares with 27,429 in 2007, the height of the boom.
Last year, there were almost 41,000 audits of drivers completed by the NTA, which resulted in 692 penalty notices.
Another 253 prosecutions were taken last year - most (34) were against unlicensed drivers, followed by no driver or vehicle licence (27) and no vehicle licence (17).
The analysis showed that the 58 Dublin taxis collected €480,000 in metered revenue, or €8,300 per vehicle across the three months studied.
Some 22 of the taxis operated for less than five days of the week, and two operated every day.
Taxis were typically hired for 42pc of the time they were on the road, and the typical journey was 14.9kms.
The average speed was 27kmh, but some drivers reached 90kmh across their trips, suggesting they worked "in uncongested areas on the perimeter of the city, by night".
Supply was also found to be "low" between midnight and 4am, except on Saturday and Sunday morning.