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Taxi regulation: has it failed?


cyberianpan

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With much hooplah we got a new Taxi Regulator in 2004 ... I think this expensive body has failed, here's some samples:

1) Do new taxi drivers know the routes ?
I regularly take taxis in Dublin & I am getting sick of the poor drivers... many of them haven't a clue where they're going. They attempt to go roundabout ways , or through areas where traffic is likely heavy. It's clear that many of them simply don't know Dublin.

A while back I got into a taxi at Drogheda rail station, I asked the driver to go to St Peter's church (the Anglican one).. the dude didn't even where any of the churches in Drogheda might be... even when I found it on the carpark map he still couldn't get there.

Now many taxi drivers are excellent - the issue is that the Taxi Regulator sets no standards here... and certifying that taxi drivers know about the locality should be the prime function of the regulator

Compare to "The Knowledge" in London

2) Economics
There's a €1 per extra passenger charge:

  • that hardly encourages taxi sharing which would be green & lean.
  • the charge makes no sense as it's not harder for a taxi to drive with extra people !

Meter tarif
: the charge being split between per km or per minute is opaque and confusing ... it is very difficult to figure out whether it is time or distance making the meter go up, foreigners are baffled. E.g. should be say 10c per KM AND say 30c per minute... at the very least there's no evidence that they've done econometric modelling here (aim would be to incentivise driver to find fastest path)

3) Sundry

Why haven't we got yellow cabs like NY or black like London ?
Why don't they review rank placings
etc

She has a staff of at least 22, most of whom seem to deal with "customer service"... not surprising given there's so many complaints... the taxi drivers have to pay €6300 for a license.

The Taxi Regulator is an expensive failure and it is time for it to be closed... Ireland can no longer afford failed quangos.

cYp
 

coisceim1

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Aug 4, 2008
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There are too many taxi's, the fare continues to be set too high, local authorities have not provided enough ranks and there has been an abject failure to invest in credible public transport
 

blucey

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Jan 4, 2007
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366
only if you consider actually being able to get a taxi to be failuere....
 

Factorem

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Dec 15, 2008
Messages
568
Yes. Regulation has failed.

Abolish this quango and reinstate the garda carriage office.
 

coisceim1

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Aug 4, 2008
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The number of taxi's needs to be capped but in doing so we can't afford to go back to a suitation where the price of a plate was equivalent to the price of a three bed semi-d. Plates should be bought or sold from the Depat of Transport and not on the open market. A new plate could only be issued if an old one has expired or if the registered owner had not achieved a specific number of fares in a given month or year.
 

Factorem

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The number of taxi's needs to be capped but in doing so we can't afford to go back to a suitation where the price of a plate was equivalent to the price of a three bed semi-d. Plates should be bought or sold from the Depat of Transport and not on the open market. A new plate could only be issued if an old one has expired or if the registered owner had not achieved a specific number of fares in a given month or year.
Sorry. Drivers should be allowed buy and sell their assets on the open market.
 

coisceim1

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that was the cause of the introduction of regulation in the first place and it also lead to the establishment of vested interests and a 'mob-like' mentality in the trade. A taxi plate could be treated as the equivalent to a bus route which has been tendered for by private companies. Don't see what is wrong with capping the price of a taxi plate
 

jc_ie

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Jul 26, 2008
Messages
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Sorry. Drivers should be allowed buy and sell their assets on the open market.
Nothing to stop them buying/selling them but there shouldnt be a limit on it that forces the marking clearing price to skew so high that they cost double a house before deregulation.
 

coisceim1

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Nothing to stop them buying/selling them but there shouldnt be a limit on it that forces the marking clearing price to skew so high that they cost double a house before deregulation.
maybe its just me but that read like a bertieism if i ever heard one - what exactly were you trying to say
 

Beagbuí

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Jul 22, 2007
Messages
36
Hi Cyperianpan, I agree, the 'regulation' of the government has failed out-right.

I always felt bad that the taxi man who maintains a beautiful clean Mercedes for his customers gets paid the same as the taxi man who provides a filthy car with no springs in the seats and that stinks of smoke.

When you get into a taxi you expect it to be decent but some taxis I've been in lately have been awful. Its difficult to tell if a taxi is in good condition or not until you are in it and you've settled down. I'm normally not one to object but the next crap car I get in I'm going to get out of immediately.

The government has a monopoly on licenses accreditation at the moment. Standards have fallen really low for the consumer because it would require an enormous amount of resources to monitor all the thousands of taxi men. Most importantly, as the system of licenses stands, there is no way for the careful and clean taxi man to advertise to the public that he has really high standards.

Taxi regulation should be done by the taxi men themselves. They should be allowed to to form systems of accreditation within their profession that sets standards that the public can easily identify. This would occur naturally in the market place as respectable taxi men will always want to demonstrate their superior service to the public and will want to maintain a reputation for high quality to attract extra business.

I would appreciate it if I could look at a taxi and see a familiar brand name that indicates a certain reputation for quality. If I could decide from a distance whether the brand of taxi that I was looking at was sufficiently good from past experience it would reward the good taxi men and provide an incentive for the crap taxi men to improve their service or go out of business. Criminals and dangerous taxi men would also be monitored by their fellow taxi men because they would be worried about their brand name and if a taxi man was behaving badly he would be thrown out of the brand name to protect its reputation.

These brands could also compete against each other over prices. Government price fixing destroyed competition between taxi men to drive down prices. If there were brands, people would be aware which were the cheapest, which had the most pleasant cars, which specialised in taxi vans etc. It would be wonderful.

The government should not be involved in taxi regulation.
 

coisceim1

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Aug 4, 2008
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There is nothing to stop taxi drivers from forming co-ops or in working together, the branding of all taxi's in the same colour would make it impossible to have any form of distinction from a distance. I always find that taxi's are like the buses one always comes straight after you got one but you could be waiting for ages. I like walking home a bit from the city but find it almost impossible to flag a taxi down - they never seem to stop even though they're empty.
 

jc_ie

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Jul 26, 2008
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maybe its just me but that read like a bertieism if i ever heard one - what exactly were you trying to say

It couldnt be an bertie-ism. It actually had words that made sense.
Ok i'll translate on the assumption that you never read an economics text book.

Market clearing price means the level the price gets set. The old supply and demand argument.

If they set limits on the amount plates at say 3,500(Which off the top of my head was the figure of taxis before deregulation) then the price of plates was pushed a lot higher then it should be. I think i remember plates changing hands for upward of 60-70k IEP in the 90s if not higher.
 

Factorem

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There is nothing to stop taxi drivers from forming co-ops or in working together, the branding of all taxi's in the same colour would make it impossible to have any form of distinction from a distance. I always find that taxi's are like the buses one always comes straight after you got one but you could be waiting for ages. I like walking home a bit from the city but find it almost impossible to flag a taxi down - they never seem to stop even though they're empty.
That's cos it's better to be sitting at traffic lights for the first 90 seconds: the meter only starts ticking after 90 seconds or (I think) 1.5km. Why should a driver pick you up in Donnybrook and you'd be half way out the N11 before the meter starts ticking. Better to pick a group up in town, spend a couple of minutes in traffic jams on Camden Street and then put the foot to the floor on the way to Foxrock.

No point in picking a single bloke up in Donnybrook -- best go all the way in and pick up a group.
 

Beagbuí

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Jul 22, 2007
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I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear. I was suggesting taxis firms could have different designs or signs to be recognised by, not that all taxis have the same design.
 

jc_ie

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That's cos it's better to be sitting at traffic lights for the first 90 seconds: the meter only starts ticking after 90 seconds or (I think) 1.5km. Why should a driver pick you up in Donnybrook and you'd be half way out the N11 before the meter starts ticking. Better to pick a group up in town, spend a couple of minutes in traffic jams on Camden Street and then put the foot to the floor on the way to Foxrock.

No point in picking a single bloke up in Donnybrook -- best go all the way in and pick up a group.
The minimum fare takes care of that. Thats why the meter doesnt start ticking until X distance or X time has passed.
 

Factorem

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The minimum fare takes care of that. Thats why the meter doesnt start ticking until X distance or X time has passed.
Hence the reason you're better off going slow/being stuck in traffic for the beginning of the fare.
 

Keith-M

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I can now get a taxi in Dublin within 5 minutes, day or night. It's been a huge succes. The next challenge is to break Dublin Bus's monopoly.
 

Beagbuí

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Jul 22, 2007
Messages
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I think taxi men should be allowed form bus companies. They are in the unique position of having a tremendous amount of knowledge about where demand for cheap efficient travel exists. I think its criminal that they can not set up bus companies and form routes where they are actually needed as opposed to the centrally planned Dublin Bus routes-to-nowhere that zig-zig across Dublin and seem to always be empty.
 
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