Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has said taxi drivers need support from the state at this incredibly difficult time, not further barriers in the sector.
Deputy O’Rourke’s comments come as recent media reports suggest taxis could be banned from some of Dublin’s bus lanes under plans Dublin City Council have submitted to Minister for Transport.
Speaking today, Deputy O’Rourke said;
“The taxi industry has been hit extremely hard by the current pandemic. With the collapse in tourism and the total absence of social and sporting events, the custom simply isn’t there for many drivers who are now back to work.
“We have now read about this so called ‘traffic wish list’ compiled by Dublin City Council and submitted to the Minister for Transport, which allegedly includes a proposal to ban taxis from bus lanes in the capital.
“This has infuriated taxi drivers, who are already struggling to make ends meet during this pandemic.
“The state should be putting supports in place for the sector, not proposing more barriers that will further hamper their business.
“Later this month, taxi drivers will stage a protest in Dublin, to highlight the total lack of support from the government.
“Sinn Féin have met with drivers and the taxi organisations and we fully support their calls for reform in the sector, given the new challenges during Covid, and agree with their calls for proper support for drivers.
“Taxi representatives have brought forward numerous constructive proposals themselves, that they believe will help their industry get back on the road.
“The Minister for Transport needs to urgently engage with drivers and their representatives to address the myriad of challenges facing workers in the industry. The taxi industry needs to be recognised and treated as an important part of our public transport system.”