Thousands of new taxi plates issued
Independent - 24-March 2001 - Martina Devlin
TAXI numbers have almost doubled to 6,700-plus plates in the four months since deregulation the majority of new vehicles operate in Dublin.
Before the industry was opened up, there were around 3,600 taxis serving the Republic, some 2,700 of them in the capital. Now the figures in Dublin have jumped to just under 5,000 with a total of 6,714 around the country.
Figures have almost doubled in Cork, they've gone up by half as much again in Limerick and there are more than twice as many plates in smaller areas such as Dundalk, Sligo and Drogheda.
Junior Environment Minister Bobby Molloy yesterday welcomed the High Court decision to uphold deregulation. "It's clear there was a huge demand (for plates) and that demand is going to be met. A lot of people have applied and it's an open door policy now. New applications can continue to be received," he said.
He admitted that queues at ranks were still lengthy on occasion but said at least people now had the hope a taxi would arrive at some stage.
Before deregulation, the service was totally inadequate and the public had no confidence in it. "They were frustrated because when you would book a taxi it wouldn't turn up," said Mr Molloy.
The number of taxi plates since deregulation has increased in cities and towns as follows: Dublin: 2,724 to 4,900; Cork: 200 to 380; Galway: 148 to 210; Limerick: 206 to 313; Waterford: 41 to 74; Sligo: 30 to 60; Killarney: 25 to 42; Athlone: 50 to 67; Drogheda: 51 to 107; Carlow: 15 to 33; Navan: 50 to 72; Longford: 14 to 23; Dundalk: 20 to 50