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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Michelle Cullen

Nine-day warning your night out is about to become more expensive in Ireland as hike comes in

The price of a night out in Ireland is set to increase significantly in just over a week as new taxi price hikes come into effect.

From September 1, the cost of a taxi will increase by a whopping 12 per cent making a few quiet ones with a friend into a rather expensive night out.

The National Transport Authority Board approved the increase in June, saying the increase for customers "reflects the increase in operating costs faced by taxi drivers."

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This will mark the first climb in price since 2018, when the fare initially rose by around 4.5%

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority, told RTE's Morning Ireland in April: "If you look back, we haven't actually seen an increase in taxi fares since 2017/2018, so that's five years since there's been any increases on taxi fares.

"That represents about 2.5/3 per cent a year which is reasonable if you think about the increase in the cost of living over those years."

Ms Graham said the increase would also apply to fares at peak times in order to encourage drivers to make themselves available at unsociable hours.

She said: "What we are trying to do then is ensure that we have as many drivers available at the peak times, which is when people are looking for taxis, particularly at night time.

"So we've rebalanced the fares a little bit to ensure that there is more of a payment in the evening periods, in the premium period, to encourage more drivers to be available in those at those times."

She said that the pandemic had also resulted in almost ten per cent of drivers leaving the industry, adding that the National Transport Authority hopes the increased fares would encourage some drivers to return.

She said: "We have seen an exit from the industry of about nine per cent across those two years, but there is a proportion of drivers who have more or less suspended their licences for a period of time, and they're allowed to do that for about two years.

"We would hope that there would be a proportion of those drivers who will come back into the industry particularly if they see there is a better return for them for working in that industry."

While many have hit out at the costly announcement, General Manager of FREE NOW Ireland Niall Carson said in June that the increase will "help taxi drivers earn a more reasonable living".

His statement read: "We welcome the NTA's introduction of new national fares for taxi drivers across Ireland following its consultation process this month.

"The proposed increase of fares by 12% will help taxi drivers manage rising operating costs and earn a more reasonable living while they continue providing essential public transport throughout the country.

"An overwhelming majority of our driver partners surveyed last month stated that their ability to stay working as a taxi driver would be compromised if the NTA's fare increase hadn't come into effect."

Mr Carson also agreed that it may solve the availability issue as the increase brings hope of adding more taxi drivers to the roster.

"The new rates will not only support existing taxi drivers in maintaining their careers in the sector but will also help aspiring drivers to consider joining the licensed taxi driver fleet."

This means a €25 taxi home from the city centre - destination dependent - will soon be just over €28.

Another change will also come into effect from September 1, which will see all taxi drivers mandated to accept cashless payments.


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