There was a dramatic increase in the number of on street licensing checks carried out by NTA Compliance Officers last year, according to the latest Taxi Statistical Bulletin published on 1st May 2017, available to download here https://www.nationaltransport.ie/publications/statistics/bulletins/
According to the report, over 90,000 checks were undertaken on drivers and their vehicles throughout 2016, up from just under 30,000 in 2015.
This increase in compliance activity has been facilitated by a custom-designed NTA App which enables Officers to check each Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSV) including the status of both driver and vehicle licence in real time. These checks take place with a minimum of disruption to compliant operators.
On foot of these checks, more detailed face to face audits took place in 12,012 of these cases, arising from which, 1,099 fixed penalty notices were issued.
The number of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) has also increased dramatically. In 2013, there were just 916 WAVs in the SPSV fleet, but by the end of 2016, that figure had gone up to 1254, or 6% of all vehicles.
That shift has been brought about, largely as a result of grants to the value of almost €2m in 2016 to assist operators with the purchase or upgrading of a WAV for use as an SPSV.
The number of complaints received by NTA increased very slightly in 2016 compared to 2015 from 928 to 998, but this has to be seen in the context of over 40,000,000 taxi journeys taken during the year.
Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Authority said: “Our priority is to ensure that all passengers experience a safe, quality and affordable service and that drivers and operators who comply with the laws and regulations are not put at a disadvantage as a result others who are non-compliant.
“As the stats show, there is no doubt that the vast majority of taxi passengers enjoy a pleasant trip delivered by a professional, courteous driver. However, if a passenger feels that something could have gone better in their journey, we urge them to let us know about it, to let us tackle it.
“We strongly encourage people to use our free Driver Check App, to verify for themselves that the vehicle that they are about to hire has been correctly registered and that the driver has the appropriate licence. A private record of each journey taken can also be kept.
“This App protects passengers and is welcomed by all compliant operators. Our Driver Check App covers taxis, hackneys and limos. It is a handy tool that ensures your safety and comfort when hiring a driver or vehicle.
“The Driver Check App allows users to check licences themselves in real time using the car registration number, the roof sign number or the driver’s ID number.”
For more information and to download the Driver Check App, follow this link – Driver Check App