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Makeover for taxis to cost drivers €250 each

IRELAND'S 40,000 taxis are to get a mandatory make-over, for which taxi drivers may have to cough up as much as €250 each.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is preparing to put out for tender a contract to rebrand taxis, a move that will see drivers slapped with a range of levies.

Any driver who refuses to pay the levy will in effect be operating illegally and will face the wrath of the taxi regulator.

The designs, obtained exclusively by the Herald, will be imposed on every vehicle from next year.

And the proposals are likely to outrage industry officials, who will contest the measures with the NTA.

Three different designs are on the table; all would see a vinyl taxi logo placed on vehicles.

The options include:

•A 'cornered panel' that will be placed on the driver's door and cost €30-€90.

•A 'door diagonal panel', a much larger version covering a significant portion of the vehicle, at a cost of €150-€250.

•Full-length blue-and-yellow stripes that will also cost €150-250 per vehicle.

Well-placed sources indicated that the third option will be "strongly opposed" as it would make the taxi look like a "garda car".

The rebranding moves are not going down well with drivers.



unacceptable

"All elements of these plans are going to be opposed by drivers," said a source.

"To slap a levy of up to €250 on hard-pressed drivers at a time when they are being squeezed from all sides is simply not acceptable.

"And at the same time we have the National Transport Authority coming up with proposals to make taxis look more like squad cars.

"These are unacceptable proposals."

The NTA previously said that the measures were part of a mandatory taxi 'branding' system that will be imposed across the industry.

A spokesman said: "The Taxi Regulation Review provides for the 'branding' of all taxis by means of a semi-permanent decal applied to the vehicle body."

hnews@herald.ie


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