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Written Answers. - Taxi Regulations.

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 No. 6

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 198. Mr. Costello Information on Joe Costello Zoom on Joe Costello  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  when he proposes to set up the office of national taxi regulator; the functions he proposes to give the regulator; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26879/02]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan An Agreed Programme for Government sets out commitments in relation to taxi services including the appointment of a regulator for the future regulation of licensing, standards and the quality of service. On 19 November 2002 the Government approved the establishment, initially on a non-statutory basis, of the office of the national taxi regulator.

It is envisaged that the office of the regulator will be established on a non-statutory basis in February 2003 pending the drawing up of formal legislative proposals that I will bring to Government as early as possible in the New Year.

Subject to the enactment of legislation, it is envisaged that the office of the regulator will have a national focus and will have full effective control over the promotion of a professional, efficient and customer-friendly service by all small public service vehicles, including taxis, hackneys and limousines. This will include the overall application of standards for drivers, licence holders and for vehicles. It is also envisaged that the functions of the office of the regulator will include the design and administration of a scheme to implement the recommendations of the taxi hardship panel in accordance with Government decisions on the matter; the setting of national taxi licence and related fees; the setting of standards for drivers, driver training, requirements for entry; the licensing of small public service vehicle drivers following consultation with the Garda Síochána; the setting of standards, guidelines and parameters for the designation and alteration of taximeter areas, the setting of maximum taxi fares, and the provision and designation of taxi ranks and associated bye-laws; the setting of standards for taxi, hackney and limousine vehicles and the implementation of the proposed wheelchair accessible taxi policy and the setting of standards for customer service and for meeting the needs of people with disabilities.


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