Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has called on the Minister for Transport to introduce a number of measures to support taxi drivers across the State with the costs around getting back on the road and said it is vital that financial support remains in place until the taxi sector returns to some normality.
Teachta Crowe said:
“Taxi Drivers are desperately looking to return to work and get back on the road, but the challenges are huge. The costs associated with getting back to work are proving prohibitive for many, while the lack of activity in the economy means business has all but collapsed for those who are back to work in the sector.
“The outgoing government approach of one size fits all approach to re-opening our economy will not work for this sector. They need specific supports and plans that recognise it is going to take much longer to get back to normal and therefore need targeted support.
“The taxi industry needs to be recognised and treated as a key part of our public transport system.
“We need to see an extension of the length of time a taxi can be in use from 10 to 12 years, restart grants to assist with insurance and vehicle adaptations costs, and an income support scheme that will allow taxi drivers get back on the road, but also provide financial assistance if fares simply aren’t there to allow them to survive.
“In addition, the NTA need to look at buying back taxi plates from those drivers who now want to leave the job and review whether the issuing of new taxi licences should be temporarily stopped until demand returns to the sector.
“These are only some of the proactive proposals the industry is bringing forward.
“The last thing Taxi drivers want to hear is talk of the setting up of another committee or another review. There needs to be a hands-on approach, meetings with the industry representatives urgently and solutions that will assist taxi drivers return to work.”