Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (159)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

159. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has fulfilled the commitment given in the Programme for Partnership Government that taxi companies that wish to bid for State procurement contracts must ensure that a minimum of 10% of their fleet is wheelchair-accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52889/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

My colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and the National Transport Authority (NTA) have primary responsibility for meeting this commitment.  Recognising the prevailing market structure for taxi services is central to this issue and as there are no large unitary fleet operators who can easily be compelled to meet such a requirement, I understand the NTA (a) continues to fund a programme of grants to increase the level of wheelchair accessible taxis, and (b) has amended the vehicle specification to qualify as a wheelchair-accessible taxi to reduce the level of investment required by individual taxi operators in order to comply. 

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) engages with the NTA and ensures that appropriate accessibility criteria are included in their central arrangements for taxi services.

Having regard to the above, the OGP established a Framework Agreement for the provision of taxi services in the Greater Dublin Area in September 2018. The tender competition to establish this Framework was designed to encourage participation on a fair and equal basis by Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) together with addressing the Programme for a Partnership Government commitment.