Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Taxi Licences

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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203. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will allow taxi drivers that are about to retire to resale their taxi plates or introduce a buy-back scheme for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17172/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The Deputy may recall that prior to the liberalisation of the taxi market, taxi licences changed hands for upwards of IR£80,000 in a broken market which favoured incumbents, and disadvantaged both new entrants eager to earn a living, and the general public that wished to use taxis.

The current licensing regime for small public service vehicles (SPSVs) is built upon the principle that the purpose of a licence is to indicate a person’s suitability to carry out a function and to ensure that the holder of a licence is subject to lawful conditions and restrictions. As such, a licence should not have, by association, a monetary value or be tradable on the open market. As quantitative restrictions have been removed from the taxi market and there are no barriers to entry to this industry - other than the obligation to use a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) - it is not clear how the re-sale of licences would deliver benefits to the industry, or members of the public that use these services, especially those who require access to WAVs. Accordingly, no consideration is being given to the introduction of a "buy back" scheme as suggested by the Deputy.


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