Latest developments in the Irish taxi sector are profiled in two new industry reports published today (9 May, 2016) by the National Transport Authority: the annual Taxi Statistics for Ireland bulletin, and the Taximeter Survey 2015, an innovative analysis of taxi driver operations, distances travelled and revenue earned in the industry.
There are six categories of Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSVs) currently operating in Ireland: Taxi, Wheelchair Accessible Taxi, Hackney, Wheelchair Accessible Hackney, Local Area Hackney and Limousine. Most of the fleet is made up of taxis, with the majority operating in the Dublin area.
In 2015, 457 new vehicle licences were issued, the highest annual total since 2008. However, the number of active vehicle licences in the country fell again slightly, down to 21,146 – from 21,547 the previous year. Active driver licence numbers, too, fell to 27,440 in 2015, continuing the decline from the peak of 47,222 in 2009.
Numbers of wheelchair accessible vehicles in the fleet remain low – at 5%, and the Authority has renewed its focus on increasing this proportion, by restricting new licences to wheelchair-accessible vehicles, by easing the size specifications required for a licence to bring the entry costs down, and by providing grant-aid schemes to further encourage more wheelchair accessible vehicles to join the fleet. In 2014, grants totalling €819,000 brought 92 new wheelchair accessible vehicles to the fleet. In 2015 this number reached 134, with grant-support of €871,000.
And the authority’s compliance team of 22 authorised officers continued their strong campaign of on-street licencing checks and roadside audits of taxi, hackney and limousine drivers; 40,888 checks and audits were carried out in 2015, up from 9,477 in 2011.
Topics in the Taxi Statistics for Ireland Bulletin include:
Today’s publication is the latest in a series of industry statistics compiled and published by the National Transport Authority. Read the Authority’s earlier Statistical Bulletins.
This research was undertaken in response to a recommendation in the Economic Analysis of the Taxi Market (Indecon International Economic Consultants, 2012) which called for “initiatives to produce credible market information on the extent of low incomes and low taxi utilisation … to discourage uninformed new entrants to the sector … to ensure that potential entrants have accurate information about potential earnings …”
Three months’ data was downloaded from the taximeters of 85 drivers, operating in the Cork, Dublin and Athlone areas. Data on over 50,000 different trips was obtained and analysed, accounting for €700,000 in metered revenue. All taximeters included in this survey related to a vehicle with only one driver associated – thereby capturing the working habits of one driver in each dataset. All data was anonymised.
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “This survey represents a small proportion of the overall number of taxi drivers throughout Ireland, and the information should be read in that context. We selected these drivers because they had the specific taximeters which retained three months’ worth of data; the other meters don’t provide this facility. However, this data published today does give a valuable insight into the work habits of these drivers, how they chose to organise their working week, and the level of metered revenue that they earn.”
The average hours worked per driver in the sample was 25 hours spread over 5.3-5.4 days per week on average; clearly, some drivers worked fewer hours than this and some drivers worked more. The average fare recorded was €14.97 in Dublin, €12.96 in Cork and €10.72 in Athlone.
For the drivers in the sample, the average metered revenue per week was €650 in Cork, €635 in Dublin and €382 in Athlone. Among the sample, average metered revenue per week ranged between €98 and €1,189.