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Criteria for Issue of Permits to Taxi Drivers
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1 April 2003

Dáil Question
No:  247

To ask the Minister for Transport the criteria which is appropriate for deciding on the issue of permits to taxi drivers; his views on the appropriateness of tax clearance certificate requirements and the requirement of appropriate character references; the precise legal capacity of the interim taxi regulator to introduce appropriate regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Richard Bruton.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 1st April, 2003.
Ref No:   8968/03     Proof:   251

Dáil Question
No:  248

To ask the Minister for Transport his views on whether drivers who are issued with taxi plates should commit to provide certain core off-peak hours of service, to ensure that there is adequate availability of taxis at all times and to avoid the cherry picking of the more lucrative hours.

- Richard Bruton.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 1st April, 2003.
Ref No:   8969/03     Proof:   252

Answered by the Minister for Transport
(Séamus Brennan, T.D.)


I propose to take question numbers 247 and 248 together.

Under the existing public service vehicle regulations responsibility for the grant of a licence to drive a small public service vehicle, which includes a taxi, rests with the Garda Commissioner.  Applicants must satisfy the Commissioner that they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence, that they have an adequate knowledge of general traffic regulations, the public service vehicle regulations and the area in which they propose to make services available as a driver of a small public service vehicle. 

I am advised that the introduction of tax clearance certification requirements is a matter that would require primary legislation and, accordingly, this is a matter to be considered in the context of the preparation of legislation to support the establishment of the Commission for Taxi Regulation which is proceeding as a matter of urgency in my Department.

Pending the enactment of the proposed legislation, the regulatory powers relating to the operation and licensing of taxis, hackneys, limousines and their drivers will remain a matter for my consideration.  However, I have already indicated that I am prepared to act on any recommendations proposed by the interim Chairman of the Commission for Taxi Regulation for urgent changes to the current regulations on standards. 

It is intended that the proposed legislation will address issues relating to the licensing of drivers and operators of all small public service vehicles including the standards that will apply to the grant of such licences and the operation of such vehicles.