Ireland’s taxi shortage is fuelled by the complex process required to get a licence, General Manager of Uber Ireland Kieran Harte has said.
During the pandemic, many taxi drivers quit the industry and when restrictions loosened decided not to return.
Even prior to COVID-19, the industry was slowly contracting and Mr Harte says Uber is often contacted by people who are put off by what it takes to get a licence.
“The biggest challenge for them is they are not able to licence the vehicle that they currently own,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“To get a new vehicle licence, it needs to be a very specific make and model by the NTA and it’s been like that for 10 years.”
Others find the amount of training they are required to go through off-putting.
“Many drivers tell us they’re just not prepared to do the six months training to memorise every street and landmark in their local area,” Mr Harte said.
Last month, Fine Gael’s Neale Richmond said the Government has to do more to help the industry.
“I think we are all very grateful for the service they provide and we’re happy to pay it but ultimately, we don’t have enough taxis in Dublin or across Ireland,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“We don’t have enough taxi drivers coming out at the times that are a little bit less appealing; we don’t have enough taxi drivers servicing the airport and we need collectively to do a lot more to get more taxis out on the street to provide that service.”
Main image: Taxis in line at O'Connell street, Dublin city centre. Image: Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland