Competition and vested interests in taxis in Ireland: A tale of two statutory instruments

June 7, 2017 | Journal Article

Authors: Paul Gorecki
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice , Vol. 101 , July , pp. 228-237

This paper addresses, for the taxi market in Ireland, whether judicial, legislative and regulatory processes promote taxi users’ welfare or taxi license holders’ welfare. It is argued that the 2000 decision to remove quantitative restrictions on taxi numbers favoured taxi users; the 2010 decision to re impose such restrictions, with the exception of wheelchair accessible taxis, had the effect of favouring taxi license holders, while doing little to meet its declared object to increase the number of wheelchair accessible taxis and the ready availability of such vehicles for wheelchair customers. Whether the late 2010s/early 2020s will be a rerun of the late 1990s, with increasing waiting times for taxi users, is a moot point. An applicant refused a taxi license might, as in 2000, successfully bring a High Court case contesting the legal basis for the present quantitative restrictions. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission might spark debate on taxi regulatory policy, while the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport might issue a policy direction to the National Transport Authority, the taxi regulator, requiring it to clarify the objectives and benchmarks for success of its existing prohibition on taxi licenses and to consider how best to create incentives for those with wheelchair accessible taxis to use them to service wheelchair users.


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