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Set charge for airport to city taxi proposed

By Stephen McMahon
Dublin , Ireland, 24 June, 2001

Taxi drivers, gardai and the four local authorities in Dublin are discussing the possible introduction of a set charge of 20 to 25 for taxi journeys from Dublin airport to Grafton Street. 

The introduction of the set fare would bring Dublin into line with other cities, such as New York and London. It may also help placate disgruntled taxi drivers who are threatening strike action if, as expected, additional baggage charges are scrapped from the start of next month. 

Fingal County Council will vote on July 2 whether to accept the 10.8 per cent fare increase and the abolition of a 40p charge for each item of baggage. The other three local authorities in Dublin have voted for the charges and Fingal is expected to follow suit.

The airport taxi drivers are the ones most affected by the loss of baggage charges, according to the taxi unions. They point to Aer Rianta's 2 entry charge to the airport rank as a further penalising factor. 

Tommy Gorman, chairman of the National Taxi Drivers' Union (NTDU), supports the idea of set charges, especially as it originated with the gardai. "We would support the plan, once it took traffic and the length of time to get to the final destination into consideration. It should be discussed at a taxi board involving all the interested parties including drivers, the gardai, local authorities and the Department of the Environment and Local Government."

A spokesman for the Garda carriage office, which controls taxis in Dublin, said: "It would be part of a city-wide initiative to place zone cards with average taxi prices in more prominent positions, such as hotel lobbies and taxi ranks."

The NTDU and the Irish Taxi Drivers' Federation were mandated to ballot their members on the fare increase in the aftermath of the taxi strike last November. Gorman said his members would withdraw their services on a rolling basis if the new fare structure were approved by Fingal next month.

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