Rogue taxis causing uproar at the races
ROGUE taxi drivers have provoked a storm of protest in Galway during Race Week.
Last night, the chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Galway West TD Frank Fahey called on the Taxi Regulator to sanction drivers who have been making a killing with unsuspecting passengers and infuriating local operators.
Three young Italian women who arrived in the city and hired a taxi to take them to their destination in Oughterard, a distance of 18 miles, were charged €100. It is understood the correct price should have been in the region of €45.
An investigation was last night under way by the Taxi Regulator's office into this and a number of other rogue practices by drivers who have travelled west for the racing festival in the hope of making a killing.
Local radio station Galway Bay FM said it had received more than two dozen complaints from taxi passengers who said they had been overcharged.
One driver charged three racegoers €14 for a trip from the racecourse to the Clayton Hotel, a distance of just 350 metres.
Mr Fahey said he had seen the "unethical" behaviour of a number of drivers operating in Galway.
"I couldn't believe my eyes when I witnessed the type of rogue behaviour of a number of taxi drivers in the city this week. I personally took the details of a number of taxis I observed taking part in queue jumping and have reported them directly to the regulator.
"I condemn this type of unethical approach to doing business by these drivers."
He confirmed that he had asked Taxi Regulator, Kathleen Doyle to deploy an enforcement officer in Galway to deal with the "flaunting of regulations".
A number of Galway-based taxi drivers have offered to provide free transport to the Italian women who were overcharged, while the management of the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry has offered to refund them their €100.