2. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has met with the Department of Justice or An Gárda Siochána to discuss the enforcement of taxi regulations and to aid in the crackdown on illegal drivers, cloned licences and other such offences. (Question 57239/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

(Deputy Alan Kelly): I met with the Garda Commissioner as recently as last month on the matter of enforcement. To enforce the taxi regulations, including pursuit of the offences mentioned in the Deputy’s question, the role of the Garda Síochána is critical to support the work of the enforcement officers of the National Transport Authority, NTA, who have responsibility for nationwide enforcement in this regard.
Action 24 of the taxi regulation review report proposes strengthening the collaborati...

10. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans for taxi branding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57207/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the regulation of the taxi industry under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003, and is also the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011, including the implementation of the taxi “branding” as set out in that Report.  
Action 31 of the Taxi Regulation Review Re...

30. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the rationale for the continuation of the sitting of the SPSV licence entry test in view of the oversupply of SPSV drivers on the road currently. (Question 57240/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): As part of the Taxi Regulation Review 2011, the examination of the broad issues for future regulatory policy was assisted by an economic analysis of the taxi market carried out by the consultants, Indecon. The analysis found that a fall in demand for SPSV services over a 3-4 year period had not been matched by a corresponding level of exit from the industry, leading to a clear problem of ...

43. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will consider further financial incentives to increase the number of wheelchair accessible vehicles in the State’s taxi fleet. (Question 57238/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the regulation of the taxi industry under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003 . Among the principal functions of the NTA, as provided for under Section 9 of that Act, is the promotion of access to small public service vehicles by persons with disabilities.
It is a matter for the NTA to decide on the future approach to incentives for ...

354. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of a number of taxi drivers (details supplied) regarding the recommendations for the taxi industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57526/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): Overall the thrust of the reforms contained in the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011 will mean better services for consumers and improvements to the operating environment for taxi drivers generally.  It is acknowledged that some of the measures proposed by the Taxi Review may lead to increased costs for individuals. However these should be offset by the benefits to the industry in terms ...

356. Deputy Patrick O’Donovan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when it is expected to be announced the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report that will be implemented and the level of engagement that has taken place with taxi operators; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57554/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): The Taxi Regulation Review report was published by the Government in January of this year.  It contains 46 actions targeting at improving the regulation and operation of the small public service vehicle industry.  
Responsibility for implementation of the majority of the recommendations of that report rests with the National Transport Authority (NTA) which is the body responsible for reg...

682. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the proposed Taxi Bill. (Question 56470/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): Overall the thrust of the reforms arising from the Taxi Regulation Review will mean better services for consumers and improvements to the operating environment for taxi drivers generally. The Taxi Regulation Bill 2012 will support measures to ensure that operators and drivers can operate under a robust regulatory framework that is supported by an effective enforcement regime. 
As propose...

251. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to amend hackney regulations to ensure the owner of an SPSV licence will only be permitted to use that licence on a vehicle registered to the same name; if his attention been drawn to the fact that many hackneys in rural Ireland operate under licences that are rented from previous operators as no new licences are available to purchase; if he will consider allowing hackney operators to purchase the licences they operate under from the owners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55740/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): Action 15 of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011 proposes a requirement for all holders of small public service vehicles (SPSV) vehicles to also be the registered owner of the vehicle to which the licence relates, with certain limited exclusions permitted to deal with vehicles operating under long term leases. The aim of this proposal is to ensure responsibility is taken by the vehicle...

252. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason SPSV’s registered prior to January 2009 or their registered number is under 45,000 are permitted to use a vehicle up to 15 years old while SPSV’s registered after that date or are numbered above 45,000 are only permitted to use a vehicle of up to ten years old; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55744/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): The regulation of the taxi industry, including issues pertaining to vehicle age limit, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003. The NTA is the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011. I am informed by the NTA that proposals to limit the age of operation of small ...

539. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position in regarding the facilitation of local area hackney licences; when he anticipates that this scheme will be operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55060/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly): The regulation of the taxi industry is a matter in the first instance for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003. The NTA is the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011, including implementation of Action 46 of the Report, which proposes a local area hackney licence.
The aim of the proposed local a...

555. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the regulations and supports available to new entrants to the taxi/hackney business; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55621/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly): The regulation of the taxi industry, including supports for new  entrants to the industry, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA). I have arranged for your question to be forwarded to the NTA for a direct response. If you do not receive a response within ten working days, please notify my private office.
 ...

179. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the process and procedure to be followed to transfer a taxi licence in respect of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55054/12 asked on 06 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including the process for transfer of taxi licences, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003. I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.
 ...

687. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if, in relation to the taxi review and new regulation, he will defer the introduction of branding to allow the taxi representative group to make referrals to the Advisory Committee on Small Public Service Vehicles as per Action 34 of the review report and as recommended by the taxi review board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54307/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): Action 31 of the Review Report proposes the introduction of a distinctive branding on taxis and wheelchair accessible taxis by means of a semi-permanent decal to be applied to the doors on either side of the vehicle, incorporating the umbrella ‘Transport for Ireland’ design. The aim of the branding is to provide greater recognition of taxis, promote greater professionalism of the industry...

697. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason he has refused to meet the Taxi Alliance/TTNH despite their request for a meeting. (Question 54565/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): The Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011 made recommendations with regard to the future system of consultation with the taxi industry. The Review Group proposed under Action 34 that taxi industry representative groups may make a referral to the Taxi Advisory Committee in relation to the introduction of industry regulations. In addition, Action 35 of the Review Report proposes that a sub-com...

698. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason students on stamp 2 visas are permitted to sit the taxi drivers exam despite their visa prohibiting them from engaging in self-employment under the terms of their visa. (Question 54566/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including the operation of the testing process under the SPSV skills development programme, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003. I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 work...

275. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will report on the taxi industry testing process being carried out for the National Transport Authority by Prometric; his views that applicants who fail the test should be provided with the breakdown of the sections of the test they failed; the reason questions in the knowledge entry tests can relate to county areas outside the 30 kilometre county zone where SPSV drivers have the right to refuse journeys; the reason an applicant who pass the entry test but fails the knowledge test have to re-sit both tests at a cost of €86.10; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53560/12 asked on 29 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including the operation of the testing process under the SPSV skills development programme, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003. I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.
 ...

117. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to update regulations for taxi services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52641/12 asked on 27 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 117, 139, 148 and 157 together.  
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the regulation of the taxi industry under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003, and is also the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011. 
Overall the thrust of the reforms arising from the T...

139. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he is taking to support the continuation of full time taxi licence holders in the industry who are facing much financial hardship due to an oversupply exacerbated by part time drivers and taxi plate rental companies. (Question 52662/12 asked on 27 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 117, 139, 148 and 157 together.  
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the regulation of the taxi industry under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003, and is also the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011. 
Overall the thrust of the reforms arising from the T...

148. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the recommendations from the Taxi Commission Report that have been implemented to date; if he intends to take any further actions under the Taxi Commission Report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52245/12 asked on 27 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 117, 139, 148 and 157 together.  
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the regulation of the taxi industry under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003, and is also the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011. 
Overall the thrust of the reforms arising from the T...

157. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on the development of a Taxi Regulation Bill; when he hopes it will be before Dáil Eireann and if he has a time line planned for the following stages and enactment. (Question 52661/12 asked on 27 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 117, 139, 148 and 157 together.  
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the regulation of the taxi industry under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003, and is also the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011. 
Overall the thrust of the reforms arising from the T...

664. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has any knowledge of plans to remove the taxi rank on the island of O’Connell Street, Dublin, outside a hotel (details supplied). (Question 51405/12 asked on 20 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): Under Section 15 of the Road Traffic Act, 2002, Dublin City Council, in consultation with the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, is responsible for the making of bye-laws in respect of the area comprising of the city of Dublin, including bye-laws regarding the location of taxi ranks.
Further information in relation to the taxi rank in question might be obtained from Dublin City Council di...

255. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when he plans to bring forward the Taxi Regulation Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50619/12 asked on 15 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): I will shortly seek Cabinet approval for the publication of the Taxi Regulation Bill, 2012, which will provide for replacement of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 and extend the regulatory framework to give effect to recommendations from the Taxi Regulation Review.
 ...

257. Deputy Colm Keaveney asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the concern being expressed by taxi drivers at the consequences of changes in regulation that are having the effect of forcing drivers to sell their licenses at a loss; if in view of the fact that taxi drivers are suffering as a consequence of our current economic difficulties and are not in a position to work as drivers but are waiting for a pick up in the trade in the future, he will consider allowing some flexibility into the process to allow for this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50624/12 asked on 15 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the regulation of the taxi industry under the Taxi Regulation Act, 2003 and is also the lead agency with responsibility for implementation of the recommendations of the Taxi Regulation Review Report within the target time periods specified in the Report. 
I understand that the National Transport Authority has already given adva...

684. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide the timeframe in which a decision will be made with regarding the transferability of taxi plates from one relative to another,; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49673/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): As proposed in the Taxi Regulation Review Report, it is envisaged that there will be a prohibition on the transfer of small public service vehicle (SPSV) licences. The underlying principle for this proposal is that a licence should determine a person’s suitability to carry out a function and it should have no monetary value or be traded on the open market. A legislative provision will be made concerning the prohibition on transfer ...

1204. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his reasons for applying further regulation and taxes on taxis (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47577/12 asked on 06 Nov 2012 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1204, 1217 and 1218 together.
The recommendations contained in the Taxi Regulation Review Report 2011 reflect the agreement of the Taxi Review Group and are aimed at facilitating better services for consumers and improving the operating environment for taxi drivers generally. The National Transport Authority (NTA) is the lead agency with responsibility for...