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Monday, May 19, 2008

Time to cut taxi fares in Ireland to match the rock-bottom service

We have possibly the worst taxis in Europe.

Smelly, 92-C reg Toyotas, on their third lap of the mileometer, driven by smoking racists or immigrant ignoramuses, that's if they aren't actually also convicted rapists or a couple of years out of prison after serving time for mowing down three people under the influence the last time they had a licence.

Yup, rock-bottom service provided by characters of all sorts of dubiety, in cars that range from comfy new limos to stinking scrappers. That's the taxi industry in Ireland.

But you wouldn't get that impression if you listened to the industry, of course. Living up to rumours that they are riven with criminality, they took to blocking the streets of Dublin today, moaning as they always do about not fleecing the rest of us for enough of our money.

Well, I reckon it's time the rest of us spoke out about this appalling industry and demanded higher service rather than higher prices.

I suggest that everyone email the Taxi Regulator and send them a submission for the current public consultation on hiking taxi fares yet again. You can be sure that taxi drivers and their families are emailing the regulator asking for stupid money for their poor service. Well, it's up to the rest of us to put the regulator right.

Have a read of this. The taxi mafia want MORE money, again.

Well, it's time for the rest of us to mail the regulator before mid-June and tell them no. Here's the address:

Put this in the title:
Feedback on Consultation Paper Number 5 Taxi Fare Revision.

Then in the body of your email, tell the regulator that the current system doesn't deserve to hike prices. Tell the regulator that the service is so poor and poorly overseen, that in fact prices should fall and fall dramatically to truly represent value for the service offered.

If you don't fancy putting it in your own words, you could always adapt what I wrote:

Obviously the fares issue is one of the least pressing issues relating to the Irish taxi industry. The urgent requirement to ensure that drivers know the regions in which they drive, the need to enforce basic standards of car safety and cleanliness, the police vetting of drivers to prevent convicted sex offenders or those with prior motoring convictions from joining the industry, and the introduction of language proficiency testing are just four more pressing issues than the idea of hiking prices yet again.
Without these basic safeguards of professionalism in place, why should the public be forced, yet again, to suffer an unjustifiable hike in prices?
Frankly, without these elements in place, it would be more relevant to slash the current prices to account for the sub-standard nature of service within the industry currently.
I suggest cutting the minimum fare to a euro (1.20 during night time hours) for starters, and tarriffs should range from 40c per km to no more than 1 euro per km. No more than 1 euro is a legitimate booking fee, and extra passengers and luggage should be charged for in keeping with their addition to the weight being carried - therefore additional passengers ought to be charged no more than a 5% addition to the overall fare, and similar for luggage items.
As a post-script, it is essential that the regulator refuse all attempts by taxi representatives to enforce a cap on entrants to the industry, or any other form of protectionism. The regulator should not be bullied by stunts such as the blocking of traffic in Dublin today by the lunatic fringe of the industry. The public deserves better than for these people to be given into every time they behave in this sort of anti-social manner, disrupting the capital.
Currently, the taxi industry is a poorly performing industry with low standards and high costs to the consumer. What we want to see is exactly the opposite. It is imperative that the regulator place the consumer at the centre of all future revisions and changes to the industry.

Maybe if the regulator grows a set of stones and cuts their money, some of the scumbags will be driven out of the industry altogether.

Maybe the regulator might get some ideas from our emails and start implementing some basic police vetting for drivers, some basic knowledge and language testing for drivers, some basic hygiene monitoring of cars, and maybe the result of that would be some basic civility from the bolshiest and most dubious industrial sector in Ireland.


Peter Slattery said...

Friends of mine got a taxi home from my apartment (in Ashtown beside Phoenix Park) to Dundrum a few nights ago and it cost them E55. I thought it was an extortionate price, but from what it seems, this isn't unusual. It's why I'd rather take my chances on a shitty nightlink than get a taxi home at 3am on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

JC Skinner said...

I'd say that at night that journey would take 40 minutes, max.
What's a decent pay rate for that, do you think, Peter?
10 quid? 15? Let's be generous and say 20.
55 is daylight robbery.

Twenty Major said...

€55 is ludicrous. Why did they pay it?

At nighttime that's straight down the M50, to Dundrum. Nowhere near that kind of price.

Anonymous said...

I would also have to add Ireland has some of the filthiest customers too. A friend of mine found a shitty nappy stuffed under the passanger seat, On the continent taxi owners would kill you before they let you treat their car like a resturant, but in Ireland we have to look at drunk attempting to find that huge hole in their face as they stuff that burger everwhere in their face other than their mouth.

In ireland taxi drivers must act as referee as couples beat the shit out of each other in the back of their cars. Last week in an under-cover opperation Garda in a taxi arrested a man robbing taxi drivers usind a bloody needle.

Every Saturday night somebody has shit in their pants on the seat of a taxi, some middle aged women has pissed herself because she couldnt wait to get home. Somebody else who doesn't know what moderation means vomits all over you. Then wait! the next customer gets in and opens his chips and eats. There no doubt the Irish are filthy. It would be cleaner eating in a loo.

Yes you have drivers who overcharge, but who's the bigger idiot, the driver or the retard that gives him the money. Some people love being a victim so a doubt most stories are true, but even if they are, why wouldn't the retart call the fuckin Garda. Is he a brain dead moran? He feels he is getting robbed and does nothing about it. His revenge is to start a blog lambasting taxi drivers. He is a fuckin coward hiding behind a screen. Get a ball's and report theiving scum taxi drivers or stop enjoying being a victim and quit telling lies.

Anonymous said...

Wow - that last post really represents for me while I avoid taking taxis at all costs.... how negative is that! Maybe you should phone Chris Barry.....

JC Skinner said...

Too true, Anon.
Waterford, if you're really in the taxi industry, then you already know that you can charge a preposterous three figure sum for anything you define as 'soiling' your cab.
Secondly, you are entitled to refuse to take anyone eating or drinking. So if that's a problem for you, just refuse to take them.
Finally, I've never had a problem reporting cheating scumbag cabbies. How do you think those dirtbags who charged Italian nuns 200 euro to go to the North Circular Road got caught, do you think? Because I came across them trying to fleece the poor nuns, took their plate numbers and told the carriage office is how.
Finally, I note you haven't a single argument to justify the current stupidly high prices and instead seek to legitimise the illegal overcharging practices of your fellow drivers.
I can't wait for some legislation to clean up your industry and drive people like you right out of it.

Peter Slattery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Informer said...

I missed this one...damn. But I will add my pennies worth.

The health service workers get paid a pitance of money compared to Taxi drivers, and they do a hell of lot more shit shovelling, nappy cleaning, drunk puke than you lot would ever do!

Ah I feel fine now.....

Anonymous said...

Mr skinner. You obviously do not have a clue as to what your talking about. It is an offense to refuse a customer simply because they have food. Secondly the soiling charge is €125. Personally i wouldn't clean someones shit for even a grand.

JC Skinner said...

You have difficulty reading English, taximan?
I said the charge for soiling (as defined by you, the cabbie) is a preposterous three figure sum. You agreed it's 125 euro.
I said you have the right to refuse to take people in the car who are eating and drinking. You said it's an offence to refuse to take people carrying food.
Firstly, carrying isn't eating. Secondly, you're lying. It's not an offence.

Anonymous said...

What a retard , It is an offense to refuse anyone entry into your taxi that is going up to 30 klm. After 30 klm you have the right to refuse.

JC Skinner said...

Nonsense. A never-ending stream of balderdash, bluster and self-serving lies from the taxi mafia.
All drivers are within their rights to refuse if they believe that the person is drunk or likely to soil their car. And eating and drinking fall into the latter category.

Anonymous said...

Taxi mafia, now your colors are showing, its not about standards, its about your own hangups with taxi drivers. In case you had not noticed everyone in our cities are pissed on Saturday nights, you imagine somehow taxi drivers have the right to refuse them all. You showing your ignorance in making stupid statements you have not researched. Go to taxireg.ie and see the laws for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Right to refuse a passenger. Drivers have the right to refuse to take a fare from you if you are unable to prove that you can pay the fare. They can also refuse to take you on a journey that is outside their specific taximeter area. In September 2006, the entire country will be declared one taximeter area. This will mean that a driver will not be able to unreasonably refuse to take you up to a distance of 30 kilometres. They may however refuse to take you any further.

Anonymous said...

A man whose drug and alcohol-fuelled attack left a taxi-driver living on disability allowance has been given nine years in consecutive sentences for the assault and for thefts from psychiatric patients.

Denis Creagh (25), Coolock Village, Coolock, Dublin, had consumed cannabis and alcohol before he launched his attack on Terry Moloney after calling him a "filthy pig" because he wasn't happy with the fare.

He kicked Mr Moloney in the head and stomach outside St Brendan's Church in Coolock. When Mr Moloney came around after falling to the ground unconscious, he found Creagh leaning over him and biting his cheek.

The force of the bite cracked the teeth in Mr Moloney's mouth and when Creagh saw him get up he returned and punched him again. The incident was witnessed by Fr Frank Corry of St Brendan's Church.

Mr Moloney, who suffered a fractured skull and had 12 teeth knocked out, was detained for three weeks in Beaumont Hospital and hasn't worked as a taxi-driver since. A medical report said serious harm had been caused to him and that he temporarily lost some of his brain function.

Creagh pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing Mr Moloney serious harm on June 12th, 2004.

Creagh told Judge Katherine Delahunt: "That night should never have happened and it came at a time when I was not myself." He said his stepfather, who he had thought was his biological father until he was 12 years old, had died three weeks previously.

"I don't think Mr Moloney or anyone deserves that. I apologise to him, his family and friends."

Creagh also pleaded guilty to theft with an accomplice of two mobile phones, €100 and a wallet from psychiatric patients' private rooms at St Patrick's Hospital, Dublin, on September 12th, 2006.

Judge Delahunt imposed consecutive sentences of seven years for the assault on Mr Moloney and two years for the thefts. She suspended the final two years on conditions.

Judge Delahunt was told by Isobel Kennedy SC, defending that Creagh was devastated when he learnt his stepfather was not his biological father. He was equally affected by the man's death from cancer and had to take a month off work.

Ms Kennedy said Creagh's mother threw him out of the family home shortly after the assault because of his drug abuse but he was now drug free after undergoing a detoxification programme in custody.

Det Garda Shane Davern told Ronan Kennedy, prosecuting, that Mr Moloney had driven Creagh, his girlfriend and another man, who were all "intoxicated to some degree", to Coolock from a pub and asked for a €12 fare.

Creagh's girlfriend gave him €5 but the two men claimed neither of them had the rest. Mr Moloney told them to "come on" because he was "very, very busy". He then noticed that the woman was trying to get out of the taxi but there was a problem with her door so he got out to help her. Creagh got out as well and called him a "filthy pig" before he launched his attack.

Oh yeah! I suppose it was all his own fault. Listen try it before you critize

Anonymous said...

just looking at the initial posting "driven by smoking racists or immigrant ignoramuses" wow! you nail your colour to the mast there, Not only are you a closet racist but you hate smokers too." did I get it right. Why would anyone entertain you, a bigot. I bet you hate your mother too. Get a life you asshole.

JC Skinner said...

How many times do I have to correct you on how to do your own job?
You're NOT ALLOWED to smoke in the car you cabby people in.
I hate moaning, whinging cabbies like you who wail and cry about the nasty public being loud or sick in the back of your car (solution: don't be a cabbie - no one is loud or sick in my car because I'm not out trying to charge people a fortune for a lift across town).

lid said...

And another raise! That's disgracefull! People should stop using their services. There are much cheaper Polish taxi's, they charge even 50% less! I pay only €25 for a route I used to pay normally €40-€45 taking an Irish taxi about 2 years ago. You just text them your address and time and they text you back to confirm they're sending a taxi. The one I'm using is Tapolxi tel. 085 1392112 : http://www.vazumo.com/companydetails/192922/Tapolxi

Jay said...

you obviously missed all the paper headlines and the joe Duffy show and Jerry ryan show. 85% of taxi drivers asked for this increase not to go ahead. You should ring the regulator and ask why exactly are drivers getting an increase they dont want?

Salubri said...

Well said Jay... Most taxi drivers I have spoken to about this were strongly against the increase pointing out that it doesn't make good economic sense: you don't put up prices just as a country goes into recession - you want to encourage customers not deter them with increased prices! The majority thought it was another example of the taxi regulator having no idea how the taxi industry works...

JC Skinner said...

As far as I'm aware, the recently increased fares are a ceiling, not a floor.
What's to stop drivers from charging less than the recommended fares?
Any driver unhappy about the increase need not implement it. The regulator only sets maximum fares, after all.
Strangely, despite much whinging on the likes of Joe Duffy, I haven't seen a single cabbie in Dublin who didn't put their rates up to what the regulator permitted as a maximum.
That, my friends, is known as talking out of both sides of your mouth. Hypocrisy AND greed, all in one.

Anonymous said...

wow! you hate Joe Duffy too. Why am I not surprised. Taxi Drivers had to pay for the installation of the new software and them pay weights and measures to seal the meters. As a business man you would pay these fees so that you not get an increase. Your missing the point Drivers didn't want the increase, now that it law and drivers had to pay for its installation. It would be stupidity from a business point of view to pay for it and not use it. By the way its an offense not to put the new fare in your meter. As for it being the maximum fare. When do you work at your job at a discounted rate. I know nobody in a factory of workplace that would work for any less than their hourly rate. so Why do you expect others to do it. The Irish are a joke, willing to pay a hundred euro in a bar only to piss it down a shore then cry about having to pay a tenner for a Taxi

JC Skinner said...

Let me repeat to you: if you didn't want the increase, you don't have to implement it.
You could choose NOT to hike up the charges to beyond those of London, New York and Paris.
But of course, not one of you did.
Reap the whirlwind of your own contribution to the rip-off republic.

Anonymous said...

right you expect me to believe a hungry moaning cunt like you ever did a hour of work and did not ask for what you were entitled too. your like an old women winging about the good old days. Right we all take pay cuts, however the bank does not take repayments cuts you fucking retard.

JC Skinner said...

Okay, so firstly taxi drivers didn't want the increase, but they're taking it anyway.
Really, some consistency would be good here. Either you want it or you don't. If you want it, you don't get to moan about people not taking taxis because prices are too high. If you don't want it, don't take it, paint that on the side of your cab, and take all the work going.

Anonymous said...

you forgot a few details there, its the law to install the new fare. More importantly it cost drivers money to install and then verify. The grand total of 30 cent went on the fare and it cost drivers €200 to install. your crying over 30 cent, hate to see what you give your kids for pocket money.

JC Skinner said...

I'm not crying over anything, sunshine.
I have a car. I don't need cabs.
But you're utterly wrong to suggest it's 'the law' for cabs to demand the fares introduced by the regulator.
They are MAXIMUM fares. There's nothing stopping you from charging less. Nothing in law at all.
So, if you're so worried about too many cabs and not enough customers, why don't you do what every other industry does and just cut your fares?
Frankly, I couldn't care less what you do. To me, it's a rip off industry full of crooks and immigrants who don't know the town. So I don't use taxis.
But it seems to me that if you want a livelihood, you can't complain about the regulator putting prices higher on the one hand, and then defend charging those higher prices on the other.
If you want fares, the solution is simple. Charge less. There's nothing stopping you.

Anonymous said...

Hang on a moment,did you just say you never use Taxis. So you wrote this based on your vast experience of being ripped off, which now, your saying was never. So this is just a moan. Also in Waterford Taxi drivers don't charge the call out charge of €2 a 40% discount on most fares, so generalize about things you know nothing about please.

Anonymous said...

Hey, What was the story with the Italian nuns?