The maximum fare that taxi drivers can charge could be increased to help drivers cope with the soaring cost of fuel.
The Government has cut the duty levied on petrol and diesel - as well as suggesting that motorists drive slower. But taxi drivers say, with other aspects of the cost of living still high, fewer people are booking journeys with them:
“They don’t have the money,” was the gloomy assessment of one taxi driver waiting for a passenger by Dublin’s Stephen’s Green.
“How can you spend and spend and spend when you’ve no money at all?
“And then the cost of living which is putting food on the table or hopping in a taxi? Half a luxury! It doesn’t happen you know.”
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Another taxi driver was slightly more sanguine and had a clear message for Irish people:
“Life is too short,” he said.
“Money - you can’t take it with you! So we have to spend it and hope for the best.
“And hope, please God, those guys over there in Ukraine will make peace. Apart from the fuel, they’re the guys that are in trouble. Not us.”
However, not everyone out on the streets of Dublin had the same casual attitude to money. One woman was upfront that her commute had changed because of the rising cost of fuel:
“I try not to drive anywhere now,” she said matter of factly.
“It’s just too much, you can barely get anything for a tenner.”
Instead, she has begun taking the train to work.
“I only drive when I have to [ever since] the past month or so. I’ve noticed it a lot more, I’ve had to drive down to the country a few times in the past month and I had to stop off twice because I wasn’t getting the fuel for the buck I was putting in.
“It’s just not worth it. Better off getting the trains and the buses.”
Main image: Pictured are taxi drivers protesting on Merrion Square in Dublin today, as part of a nationwide taxi drivers' demonstration calling for greater government support. They claim up to 1,500 drivers are taking part in the demonstration in Dublin. Photo: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie