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There should be no airport bus so taxi drivers can get paid more

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  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,350 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Peregrine
    Moderator


    It also shows how far we haven't come. :(

    Same guy a year earlier, when bus lanes used to be for buses, said he doesn't think buses should have an advantage over taxis.

    https://www.rte.ie/archives/2019/0201/1026897-bus-lanes-for-taxis/

    Now there are nine times as many taxis in Dublin compared to 1984. While the bus fleet hasn't even doubled. Let me know when this trial ends.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,617 ✭✭✭✭ Spook_ie
    Registered User


    Are things taxiwise improving when people dredge up reports from 1984 and 1985?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,626 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus
    Registered User


    Peregrine points to the improvement; there are nine times as many taxis as there were in 1984.

    Eric describes the guy in the report he links to as a "taxi union rep" as though he were in some sense a representative of organised labour. But in fact the opposite is the case; he represented the interests of property owners and, specifically, the interest of owners of taxi plates.

    A taxi plate was a form of property, in that you could buy and sell it, and it was a form of property whose value was inflated because the supply was artificially restricted. The more the city grew, and the less and less well it was served by public transport, the more valuable a taxui plate became, and the richer owners of taxi plates were. The Irish Taxi Drivers' Federation at the time was largely devoted to (a) objecting to any proposal to issue new taxi plates, and (b) objecting to any investment or improvement in public transport, so as to maintain and if possible enhance the value of their members' assets. Far from being analogous to a trade union they were, in effect, the capitalist analogue; they were to capital what a trade union is to labour.

    The ITDF enjoyed a high degree of success with this strategy for quite a long time, but the campaign was ultimately self-defeating, since it mean that Dublin suffered from poor public transport and at the same time an acute shortage of taxis. In the late 90s the industry was reformed and deregulated, and signficant numbers of new taxi plates were issued, since when the quality of the taxi service has improved immeasurably.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,810 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011
    Moderator


    It's hard to think of strikes that have had less public support than the times taxi drivers went protectionist. Possibly the most recent Luas ones.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭ ArthurG
    Registered User


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    In the late 90s the industry was reformed and deregulated, and signficant numbers of new taxi plates were issued, since when the quality of the taxi service has improved immeasurably.

    I remember the howls of indignant rage that met deregulation.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 876 ✭✭✭ Lord Glentoran


    ArthurG wrote: »
    I remember the howls of indignant rage that met deregulation.

    One of my few vicious pleasures was their outrage. A beautiful, well-aimed and well-deserved kick in the balls to one of the worst protectionist cartels in Ireland. Or anywhere, for that matter.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,810 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011
    Moderator


    I was explaining how pub licence transfers work here to an American journo and she compared it to the NYC taxi medallion system. And was somewhere between astounded and intrigued that we'd actually managed to get rid of such a system without there being actual murders. Helped that the licences were a LOT cheaper than a medallion (million dollars at one stage) though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭ knockoutned
    Registered User


    Sorry to derail, but NYC managed to deregulate the medallion market without introducing formal deregulation. They just allowed full access to the market to Uber, Lyft etc. Now there about 13,000 medallion licenses compared to over 60,000 Uber, Lyft cars. As most yellowe cabs are leased to drivers, drivers switched to Uber as it was much cheaper for them to operate for similar fares.

    And no one was murdered either!


  • Registered Users Posts: 492 ✭✭ 91wx763
    Registered User


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Peregrine points to the improvement; there are nine times as many taxis as there were in 1984.

    Eric describes the guy in the report he links to as a "taxi union rep" as though he were in some sense a representative of organised labour. But in fact the opposite is the case; he represented the interests of property owners and, specifically, the interest of owners of taxi plates.

    A taxi plate was a form of property, in that you could buy and sell it, and it was a form of property whose value was inflated because the supply was artificially restricted. The more the city grew, and the less and less well it was served by public transport, the more valuable a taxui plate became, and the richer owners of taxi plates were. The Irish Taxi Drivers' Federation at the time was largely devoted to (a) objecting to any proposal to issue new taxi plates, and (b) objecting to any investment or improvement in public transport, so as to maintain and if possible enhance the value of their members' assets. Far from being analogous to a trade union they were, in effect, the capitalist analogue; they were to capital what a trade union is to labour.

    The ITDF enjoyed a high degree of success with this strategy for quite a long time, but the campaign was ultimately self-defeating, since it mean that Dublin suffered from poor public transport and at the same time an acute shortage of taxis. In the late 90s the industry was reformed and deregulated, and signficant numbers of new taxi plates were issued, since when the quality of the taxi service has improved immeasurably.

    In Waterford before dereg, population 40k at the time, there were 39 public taxis.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,626 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus
    Registered User


    91wx763 wrote: »
    In Waterford before dereg, population 40k at the time, there were 39 public taxis.
    That's capitalism for you, red in tooth and claw.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,802 ✭✭✭✭ suicide_circus
    Registered User


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    That's capitalism for you, red in tooth and claw.
    ?? that was state regulation not capitalism


  • Registered Users Posts: 765 ✭✭✭ Mr.Frame
    Registered User


    ArthurG wrote: »
    I remember the howls of indignant rage that met deregulation.

    and rightly so.

    Peoples livelihoods were destroyed.Many lost their homes, their marriages and sad to say some took their own lives.

    Funny how those who laughed at deregulation and how it affected drivers are now saying there are too many taxis causing traffic jams.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,802 ✭✭✭✭ suicide_circus
    Registered User


    Mr.Frame wrote: »
    and rightly so.

    Peoples livelihoods were destroyed.Many lost their homes, their marriages and sad to say some took their own lives.

    Funny how those who laughed at deregulation and how it affected drivers are now saying there are too many taxis causing traffic jams.
    i dont think it was a laughing matter but the situation was utterly unsustainable


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,527 ✭✭✭ Dodge
    Registered User


    Mr.Frame wrote: »
    and rightly so.

    Peoples livelihoods were destroyed.Many lost their homes, their marriages and sad to say some took their own lives.

    Funny how those who laughed at deregulation and how it affected drivers are now saying there are too many taxis causing traffic jams.
    Any figures for this anecdotal stuff about the many homes lost and marriages that ended and how many suicides?

    Because there’s far more taxis on the scene now and people must be earning a living (otherwise they wouldn’t do it)

    Deregulation was absolutely a good thing, and sure some people earned less money than they had previously, but the overall situation is in a far better place now

    Oh and here’s some more anecdotal stuff. The taxi men I know that were around before deregulation are still doing it now. No marriages, houses or lives lost.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭ donvito99
    Registered User


    The issue was people paying huge money one year for a licence only for it to be worthless the next year.

    It had to be done away with at some point and there were going to be losers.

    But it is true to say that deregulation has brought about its own problems in that the city's massive congestion issue can in part be apportioned to too many taxis.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,659 ✭✭✭ BowWow
    Registered User


    donvito99 wrote: »
    in that the city's massive congestion issue can in part be apportioned to too many taxis.

    Maybe if taxis didn't just stop anywhere they felt like it, maybe if they stopped doing illegal u-turns then traffic would be better.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for those that were deregulated! Was ripped off for years by the closed shop they operated. One car (with taxi plate) used by three drivers for three shifts over 24 hours. I know several drivers from that time, they all lived well out of it - good to see them having to work now.

    While I'm at it - they shouldn't be allowed in bus-lanes - they are not public transport...


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 83,796 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight
    00:00




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,388 ✭✭✭ Nermal
    Registered User


    Just remember that the anti-Uber crowd are peddling a cloaked version of the exact same argument.


  • Registered Users Posts: 492 ✭✭ 91wx763
    Registered User


    BowWow wrote: »

    One car (with taxi plate) used by three drivers for three shifts over 24 hours. I know several drivers from that time, they all lived well out of it

    Snipped that well and truly.

    The other shift drivers were called "cosies". Where did that word/name come from ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,626 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus
    Registered User


    I think it was an abbreviation of "co-driver", which is how they were formally referred to by the Carriage Office, the regulator at the time.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,896 ✭✭✭ sabat
    Banned


    Mr.Frame wrote: »

    Funny how those who laughed at deregulation and how it affected drivers are now saying there are too many taxis causing traffic jams.

    The taxi drivers who would smugly breeze past literally hundreds of people on every main road forced to walk several miles home from town every weekend, refused any increase in the number of plates and didn't give a f*ck as long as they were making money? Guess what? Those people remembered and laughed their holes off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,607 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road
    Registered User


    sabat wrote: »
    The taxi drivers who would smugly breeze past literally hundreds of people on every main road forced to walk several miles home from town every weekend, refused any increase in the number of plates and didn't give a f*ck as long as they were making money? Guess what? Those people remembered and laughed their holes off.


    that was the government's fault that such a system could exist.
    presumably the high fees for the licenses brought in a good amount of revenue to the government.

    julian the journalist asange is innocent, free julian the journalist.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,659 ✭✭✭ BowWow
    Registered User


    presumably the high fees for the licenses brought in a good amount of revenue to the government.

    Wrong!
    Once bought the "plate" belonged to the driver, who could then transfer(i.e. sell) it to someone else. The big money stayed with the seller.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,626 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus
    Registered User


    Yes. The licence plate fee was something like a hundred pounds a year to renew. But the plate itself could be worth many tens of thousands, on changing hands between owners.

    The idea of a licence was to ensure minimum standards for taxi vehicles, which would help to make sure that the taxi service was of acceptable quality. And the idea of a set number of licences was to prevent cutthroat competition driving down standards of service (e.g. taxi drivers racing to snatch fairs from one another, or speeding to complete journeys) and to give taxi operators reassurance that they wouldn't invest in a vehicle and training only to find that new competition made the business unprofitable. And for a long time the system worked reasonably well. But the growth in numbers in Dublin, and the growth in prosperity leading to people wanting to use taxis more often, was not matched by an increase in the number of taxi plates, because any increase would devalue the existing plates. And the more valuable the plates became, the more damaging to existing plateholders would be the issue of new plates. The whole thing became a vicious circle, basically driven by a capitalist desire to maintain the value of capital.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,752 ✭✭✭✭ Wishbone Ash
    Registered User


    ...presumably the high fees for the licenses brought in a good amount of revenue to the government.
    The plate only had a nominal value.

    I'm open to correction but wasn't it technically illegal to sell a taxi plate but that was circumvented by giving the plate 'free' with a car?

    Buy my Ford Granada for £80,000 and I'll throw in a Taxi plate with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,752 ✭✭✭✭ Wishbone Ash
    Registered User


    Peregrine wrote: »
    Same guy a year earlier....
    Looks like the late John Usher, former long time head of the ITDF.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,626 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus
    Registered User


    The plate only had a nominal value.

    I'm open to correction but wasn't it technically illegal to sell a taxi plate but that was circumvented by giving the plate 'free' with a car?

    Buy my Ford Granada for £80,000 and I'll throw in a Taxi plate with it.
    From memory, it was the car that was plated, not the owner. If you owned a plated car, you could retire that car and get the plate transferred to another car. But you couldn't sell the right to a plate.

    So, yeah, the way to transfer the plate was to sell the plated vehicle to someone else. He could then use that vehicle as a taxi or he could retire it and transfer the plate to another vehicle owned by him. But it wasn't, strictly speaking, that you were selling a vehicle and transferring the plate for free; you were selling a plated vehicle which, because of scarcity, was a hugely valuable asset.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj
    Registered User


    When the taxi business was deregulated, the only people I felt sorry for were the widows of taxi drivers. They had held on to the plate and rented it out to 'cosies', drivers with a PSV driving licence who didn't own their own plate. With deregulation, the cosies were able to buy their own plates so the widow effectively lost her only income and all she had was a car with huge mileage that was worth feck all.

    I believe the Carriage Office did issue a trickle of new plates each year but with the help of political lobbying by the likes of Ivor Callely, the numbers were very low. No doubt he was generously rewarded for his assistance.

    IIRC, deregulation (in terms of unlimited licences) only happened because of a court case where the judge ruled that the authorities had no legal basis to cap the number of licences. That opened the floodgates and effectively wiped out the asset value of existing plates.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,663 ✭✭✭ trellheim
    Registered User


    If I recall the cosy nickname like a teacosy only you were keeping the drivers seat warm instead


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,640 ✭✭✭✭ Podge_irl
    Registered User


    Nermal wrote: »
    Just remember that the anti-Uber crowd are peddling a cloaked version of the exact same argument.

    Its not remotely the same argument. There is a chasm of difference between an argument against restricting licensing and an argument against abolishing licensing.


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