Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (751)

Dessie Ellis


751. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the serious problems taxi drivers are having with registration on the new taxi portal site and the worrying failure of the phone helpline or email service to properly explain the process exacerbated by many phone calls going unanswered and emails bouncing back not received. [8965/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

From the end of January 2013, in accordance with Regulations made by the National Transport Authority (NTA) it is a requirement that all small public service vehicle (SPSV) operators notify the NTA about the vehicles they are operating at any given time. For SPSV drivers who own and exclusively operate their own vehicle this is a once-off notification until the vehicle is changed. Where a SPSV is the subject of rental or other sharing  arrangement all changes in the driver operating the vehicle - however frequent - must be notified to the NTA.

I understand that free IT tools are availble to facilitate this notification process, The "Taxi Industry Portal" smartphone application can be downloaded onto both Apple and Android smartphones. In addition, SPSV operators can use any PC or laptop to access the Taxi Portal over the Internet.

 A call centre is currently operating all-day every-day to take telephone notifications.  A call to the centre is charged as a national number from landlines and mobile phones and is included in bundles of free calls from the various companies / operators.  The call centre is operated by the NTA and I have therefore asked the Authority to respond directly to the Deputy with regard to the issues he has raised relating to access to the call-centre.