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Sunday business Post
By Tiernan Lowey
Dublin, Ireland, 28 October, 2001




Photo: Tony O'Shea


Goodbody Report proposes 16% Dublin taxi fare increase for January 1


Taxi fares in Dublin are set to rise by 16 per cent, if new proposals are adopted.

For the increase to be implemented, it must be agreed by all four local authorities in the Dublin taxi meter area when they meet next month.

An interim report into the industry by Goodbody economic consultants was sent to all taxi and hackney unions 10 days ago.

The report, the third of its kind to be commissioned by Dublin Corporation this year, proposed a 16 per cent increase on the average five-mile daytime trip. The last report recommended an increase of 10.8 per cent. If approved, the new fares will come into effect on January 1. Taxi fares have not been increased since 1998.

Goodbody's have suggested increasing the initial hiring charge by 18p to 1.58, equivalent to e2.

Luggage charges will be retained as an additional extra. Last June, Dublin Corporation officials insisted on dropping luggage charges to "simplify the system". The luggage charge will be subject to a limit of two items at e0.50 each. Taxis currently charge 90p a mile day and night. If the recommendations are approved, daytime rates will be increased to e1.60 (1.26) a mile. `Unsocial hours' -- that is 10pm-8am, bank holidays and Sundays -- will be charged at e1.80 (1.42) a mile.

Waiting time charges would rise from the current 9 per hour to 14.20, or e18. Under the new guidelines, "soiling offences" will cost the customer e25 (19.70).

From January 1, all taxi meters must be capable of producing automatic receipts for taxi fares. In addition, it is intended by the end of 2003 to begin making all taxis wheelchair accessible.

Taxi meters cannot be converted to accommodate the euro until the New Year. As an interim measure, a blanket levy of 80p per fare has been suggested, from December 1.

Taxi unions complain that the fare system has not kept pace with inflation. A 1998 report by British consultants, Oscar Faber, supported this view. Since 1985, taxi drivers have received an increase in the mileage rate of 15p.

Dublin taxis charge an initial distance rate of 90p per mile. Industry sources suggest that this is 36p lower than the average for European capital cities.

According to some, London taxi drivers charge more than double the Dublin rates at 2.02. Paris is Europe's cheapest capital for taxis, with a charge of 74p per mile. In the US, Boston cab drivers charge almost double Dublin's rate -- 1.82 per mile.
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