What to do about all those taxis?

Húrin

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Sep 20, 2009
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There are too many taxis in Dublin, over 12,000. What can be done to solve the over supply in the face of declining demand? We've had several dramatic protests by taxi driver unions lately and I agree that no more licences should be sold but they also need to face the fact that there are too many of them. How can this problem be solved? Will the market do it or should the city council or regulator do something?
 


Oddjob111

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Dec 8, 2007
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Too little too late, you deregulate a market that consists of probably the most unskilled workers in the country at the same time as the country experiences the greatest influx of unskilled workers we'll ever see.

And that's the result.
 

CookieMonster

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The taxi market wasn't deregulated, the issuing of licences was.
 

politicaldonations

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Raise the standards of cars so only full timers will be in business. Taxi should be no older than 3 years and have certain size/volume. Market will clear it in time anyway. Maybe if fares were lowered then demand would increase.
 

revereie

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This is one of those things where the big outcry for the last 10-15 years (back into the last recession) was the lack of taxis.

As a market, it will sort itself out over time.
 

nonpartyboy

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Taxi's are far too expensive, it's nearly a fiver just to sit in it. Certainly in the city centre zone if taxi were much cheaper, there would be huge takeup but at present you couldn't justify 10e for a 3 or 4 minute trip. They problem is too many taxis chasing too little business, even the taxi men didn't want the last fare increase, you'd have to wonder what yet another one of our regulators is paid to do.
 

libertarian-right

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It keeps alot of people off the dole. Now if they only dealt with the regulation of their prices...
 

leroy42

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The problem is that at the time of deregrualtion minimum standards should have been introduced. Like most capital cities, Dublin should have a designated colour for taxis, to make it easier for people to spot them. Cars should be of no more than a few years old, have certain volume etc.

My understanding is that firstly the taxi regulator is doing a fairly incompetent job and seems to have annoyed both the taxi drivers and the general public.

Secondly, I think the taxi drivers are against any form of standards regulation, as it will force alot of them to actually invest. Currently, all that is needed, externally, is the roof sign which is placed on the roof via magnets, therefore the car can be returned to 'family car' whenever they like (and of course write off the fuerlas a business expense). Having the same as the yellow cabs in NY, or Black Cabs in London means that the vehicle is really only used for the sole purpose of being a taxi.

I felt at the time that this was short-signed by the taxi men, it did of course save them money and hassle in the short-term, but having no restricitions to entry was always going to lead to this situation.

Instead of whinging, the taxi drivers (those full time professionals) should be calling for these measures to be introduced ASAP. I know that new taxi licences will soon only be grated to certain aged cars, but it should be forced through as a matter of urgency.

The taxi companies also need to do more to advertise their services. Currently, most people see all taxis as the same, but 20/20 cabs have at least tried to make a difference based on price. Of course others could do so by service levels, driver knowledge etc. This will only affect calls and not on street pickups, but it would be a start.

Like any other business, the level of service and an ability to seperate yourself from the others that will be succesful. Merely whinging and waiting for others to fix your problems isn't the answer.

Something simple like the attitude of taxis at the airport. I know their situation is terrible, having to queue for 3 hours just so I can get a taxi to Swords. But it's not my fault and spending the entire journey complaining to me about it won't exactly indear me to taking a taxi. Remember when you go on holiday. Many taxi drivers go out of their way to help, giving out business cards to try to get future fares.
 
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In Valencia taxi drivers are members of a cooperative and in being so the drivers split the week in working so at any one point in time drivers will be doing 4 days one week, 3 days next week etc etc. This ensures everyone has work and streets are flooded all the time.
 

toughbutfair

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It was a great decision to do with away the regulation of licenses.

There are lots of taxis and easy to get them. When the drivers don't make enough money they'll stop doing it and there will be less taxis. If they are still doing the job then they are making enough money to make it worth their while.

You guys want the government to basically make this market less competitive, no pleasing some people, how about your moaning about cartels in other industries?

It was one of the best decisions the government made (granted, that bar isn't high)

Some people just biitch about anything.
 

Baron von Biffo

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There are too many taxis in Dublin, over 12,000. What can be done to solve the over supply in the face of declining demand? We've had several dramatic protests by taxi driver unions lately and I agree that no more licences should be sold but they also need to face the fact that there are too many of them. How can this problem be solved? Will the market do it or should the city council or regulator do something?
If Dublin taxis are like those in Portlaoise then simply enforcing the rules of the road would put about two thirds of them out of business in a month. Speeding, illegal overtaking, using mobiles and using footpaths to extend the rank are the norm here.
 

GDPR

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Taxi's are far too expensive, it's nearly a fiver just to sit in it. Certainly in the city centre zone if taxi were much cheaper, there would be huge takeup but at present you couldn't justify 10e for a 3 or 4 minute trip. They problem is too many taxis chasing too little business, even the taxi men didn't want the last fare increase, you'd have to wonder what yet another one of our regulators is paid to do.
This is true. If I could get a taxi fare of 3 euro without having 5 euro loaded on the fee immediately I sat in the car , I'd take a taxi to get from one end of the road to another in situations where otherwise I'd was in danger of being 5 or 10 minutes late for an appointment. Otherwise I'd just run and make it on time.


It was a great decision to do with away the regulation of licenses.

There are lots of taxis and easy to get them. When the drivers don't make enough money they'll stop doing it and there will be less taxis. If they are still doing the job then they are making enough money to make it worth their while.

You guys want the government to basically make this market less competitive, no pleasing some people, how about your moaning about cartels in other industries?

It was one of the best decisions the government made (granted, that bar isn't high)

Some people just biitch about anything.
I agree. The purpose of a Taxi is to serve the public. Too many Taxis is good for the public. The old situation of too few was bad for the public. If Taxidrivers don't make enough money they can quit. Presently there is no problem for the public as there are enough Taxis to serve the public.
 

John Kalahan

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Allow Taxis to discount the Meter Fare

Allow Taxis to discount the Meter Fare

A Taxi advertising a 20 or 30% discount on the meter fare would do lots of business.


Should we cap the number of plasterers, carpenters, painters, bakers, nurses, teachers, shopkeepers, authors, farmers, newsagents, car mechanics, we have?

Would anyone of these taxis consider doing something else to supplement earnings outside peak demand hours?
 

Interista

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Should we cap the number of plasterers, carpenters, painters, bakers, nurses, teachers, shopkeepers, authors, farmers, newsagents, car mechanics, we have?
Some of these professions have an 'automatic' cap built in - there's only so many shops and bakaries you can build in a given street, for example. But anyone can buy a car and set themselves up as a taxi driver.

The reason I feel some sympathy for taxi drivers is because it's hard for them to build up competitive advantage in the way many other workers can do. If you need a taxi, you have to go and take whoever is first in the queue. That might be a guy who's been in the business for 25 years and knows Dublin like the back of his hand, or it might be someone who's been driving for 2 weeks and doesn't know Grafton St from Merrion road. They all charge the same and offer essentially the same service. It's much harder for them to build up a customer base the way in which other people in the service industries can do. That's why it makes it very difficult for them when the market is flooded.
 

swords driver

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First off, I'm a full time taxi driver and its nice to see a reasoned thread about taxi's. I agree with most of the posts, but would like to see your opinions on a few issues -

Price - Taxi's in Ireland are actually cheaper or on par with most northern European (International Taxi Fare Calculator - World Taximeter) cities such as London, Paris etc., and have considerably higher running costs (Fuel, Servicing, VRT, parts).

Vehicles - I agree with most of the posts regarding standardising models and colour, but given that earnings have collapsed in the the last two years, should a VRT/Tax exemption be introduced as is the case in some European countries.

Social Welfare - Currently an unknown number of operators are actually funded via the BTWEA scheme, thus tilting the current market in favor of welfare recipients. What are your thoughts.

Standards - Age limits on cars is one way of dealing with oversupply, but be assured that this will result in a fleet of low spec vehicles, no more Merc's, Volvo's or BMW's. Also bear in mind that a large number of taxi's are actually from the rental market which the TR is reluctant to manage, and we have all seen the media reports on the lack of standards in the operation of this market.

Personally I feel that the taxi market being imperfect in economic terms that it must be regulated to protect the customer, perhaps a quota system would be the best way to ensure a balance of supply versus demand. Many American cities deregulated the taxi markets and have had to reverse this due to the mess it created and currently Ireland is being used as a case study to prevent de-regulation in New Zealand. I suppose the taxi market is just another example of how well Irish governments create a mess.
 

toughbutfair

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I don't agree with any interference in the market. If I want to set up a fast food joint then the government shouldn't say we have enough.

If people are starting off as taxi drivers it is because they can make money out of it, if drivers aren't making satisfactory money they'll stop doing it and this will reduce the supply.

That is how a free market works.
 

staunch ff

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Nov 12, 2009
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Get Revenue to announce on 1st April 2010 that from 1st September 2010 they will carry out a special audit on a random 2000 taxi drivers !! By the same 1st September 2010 there will not be enough taxis on the road
 

John Kalahan

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No you are entitled to take the second or third in the que

Some of these professions have an 'automatic' cap built in - there's only so many shops and bakaries you can build in a given street, for example. But anyone can buy a car and set themselves up as a taxi driver.

The reason I feel some sympathy for taxi drivers is because it's hard for them to build up competitive advantage in the way many other workers can do. If you need a taxi, you have to go and take whoever is first in the queue. That might be a guy who's been in the business for 25 years and knows Dublin like the back of his hand, or it might be someone who's been driving for 2 weeks and doesn't know Grafton St from Merrion road. They all charge the same and offer essentially the same service. It's much harder for them to build up a customer base the way in which other people in the service industries can do. That's why it makes it very difficult for them when the market is flooded.
No you are entitled to take the second or third in the que
 

Hazlitt

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Feb 3, 2009
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Will the market do it..?
Yes

It keeps alot of people off the dole. Now if they only dealt with the regulation of their prices...
+1

I don't agree with any interference in the market. If I want to set up a fast food joint then the government shouldn't say we have enough.

If people are starting off as taxi drivers it is because they can make money out of it, if drivers aren't making satisfactory money they'll stop doing it and this will reduce the supply.

That is how a free market works.
+1

Simple common sense.
 


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