Lobby group calls for action on ‘chronic shortage’ of taxis across country

Coalition of hospitality lobby groups and taxi-app companies will hold briefing with TDs and Senators on Wednesday

15/09/2020 - NEWS - GV's as the Taxi Drivers Protest gathered on Dublin's Merrion Square.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

A coalition of hospitality lobby groups and taxi-app companies will urge the Government to address the “chronic shortage” of taxis across the country in a briefing with TDs and Senators later on Wednesday.

The Taxis for Ireland Coalition was established last year in response to a dwindling taxi supply, with Restaurants Association of Ireland, Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, Licensed Vintners’ Association, Irish Tourism Industry Confederation and mobility firms Bolt and Uber among its members.

A survey recently commissioned by Bolt found that up to 43 per cent of requested trips by customers in Dublin can go unfulfilled at peak times (between Friday midday and Sunday morning). In Cork, the same figure stands at 56 per cent.

Another survey, conducted by YouGov this month, found that 39 per cent of respondents were concerned about getting home safe, due to the shortage of taxis in Ireland.


The coalition said it would point to recent data in making the case for “urgent action”.

The coalition is proposing a number of policy recommendations to Government, advocating for minimum market-based targets for “an increased Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSV) driver and vehicle licence population by 2026″.

Donall O’Keeffe, CEO of the Licensed Vintners Association, said that the current shortage in taxis poses a “direct threat” to the late-night economy, with customers opting to leave pubs and nightclubs early due to difficulties in finding a cab.

“The safety of our patrons is of paramount importance, yet the taxi shortage is affecting this. We are calling for measures to rectify the shortfall and protect the late-night economy of our capital city,” he said.

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, said that a lack of taxis is “disrupting the dining experience for our customers”.

This shortfall urgently needs to be rectified to ensure the viability of our restaurants,” he said.

  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here
Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher is an Irish Times journalist