04 April 2018
The Minister for Infrastructure has changed the law to prescribe a minimum standard for the meters in taxi-cabs.
In September 2015 the Minister, Deputy Eddie Noel, set out a programme for reforming the taxi-cab industry to make it more flexible, safer and provide a better service for the public.
Since then there have been various changes including twenty per cent of the fleet being wheelchair accessible, fares simplified and an extra weekend rank in town.
As part of the industry review programme, it was announced that taximeters would be required to meet a functional standard, which would be developed and published and that only meters meeting this standard would be acceptable for use by taxi-cab licensed plate holders.
Advances in technology have meant that more information can be obtained easily from taximeters than in the past.
The new meter requirements include:
- allowing the Inspector of Motor Traffic to obtain data to assist the Minister in formulating policy in terms of ensuring an adequate taxi-cab service
- ensuring that the display is in English
- an anti-tampering device
- ensuring that the meter will not display a higher charge than the maximum set for the relevant date and time (although it will allow a lesser charge)
- ability to provide a cumulative totaliser which cannot be cleared by the driver
- the capability of being measured over a specific distance
Currently there is no legal requirement for the meter to hold cumulative data for analysis or any other data apart from tariffs.
With the new regulations, Driver and Vehicle Standards will be able to collect anonymised data during the vehicles’ annual inspection and allow better analysis of supply and demand issues for future policy making.
The majority of taxi-cabs current fare measuring devices should be capable of meeting the new requirements, however older models may not and will need to be updated.
Deputy Noel said “These new requirements for taxi-cab fare measuring devices will not only give passengers peace of mind that the meter is being operated fairly but it will also provide us with valuable information on taxi-cab activity.”