New crisis talks over city's taxi problems
THE crisis in Dublin's taxis is set to be discussed by city leaders and the industry's regulator.
It is the first time that the elected members of Dublin City Council (DCC) have asked for such a meeting, according to a DCC spokesperson.
Representatives voted to send an invitation to the Taxi Regulator, Kathleen Doyle to meet with them as a matter of urgency.
Cllr Damian O'Farrell (Ind) who tabled the motion said the meeting would "discuss the current taxi crisis and its effects on our city.
"The thrust of it is that she [the taxi regulator] does have responsibilities to the city and the city manager, and since she's been taxi regulator, the city has had traffic problems.
"There are taxi drivers killing themselves and when I ran for election last year, there were ladies crying on the doorstep because they were having marital problems."
Some 32 taxi drivers have died by suicide in the past year, according to Aidan Moore president of the National Taxi Drivers Union (NTDU), who is critical of the Taxi Regulator for not listening to drivers.
"She needs to be more open about what her plans are and to take her head out of the sand, and accept that the industry is on its knees," he said.
Councillors have called upon DCC "as a matter of urgency" to demand that the Taxi Regulator reinvest funds collected from taxi drivers to procuring more taxi-rank spaces, and renting suitable city centre premises and lands for taxi rank space.
A DCC spokesperson said the councillors' request has been forwarded to the transport and traffic strategic policy committee (SPC) meeting scheduled for November 11.
"The SPC meeting will propose a cross-party delegation to attend the proposed meeting," a spokesperson said.
Cllr Christy Burke (Ind) criticised the Taxi Regulator.
"The duplication of plates is happening. I've met with taxi men and they're annoyed. She's a public servant and she's answerable to us."
A spokesperson for the commission said it had not received the invitation yet, and added that it regularly met senior officials. "The commission's enforcement team is dedicated solely to identifying and addressing illegal or inappropriate activity.
"There is no evidence to suggest that 'duplication of taxi plates' is a significant issue."