A study of driver earnings and work patterns by the National Transport Authority (NTA) showed that drivers here work 5.3 days per week, and that they were engaged for just 42pc of the time they were on the road. The survey wasn’t able to work out how much time they spend complaining on the job and failed to mention the anomaly that exists whereby all the people who should be running the country seem to be working as taxi drivers in Dublin. (Ed note: last sentence to be taken with a pinch of salt)
For the survey the NTA based their findings on meter data collected from 58 drivers over a three-month period last year. The figures revealed the average fare nationwide was €14.97, compared with €12.96 in Cork and €10.72 in Athlone, and that Dublin drivers averaged revenues of €24.80 per hour.
Across the week, the average amount collected by Dublin drivers was €635, compared with €650 in Cork, and €382 in Athlone.
The survey was commissioned as part of efforts to determine the average incomes of taxi drivers, and to discover if there was a low usage of taxis.
Data from more than 50,000 trips, accounting for €700,000 in fare income, was analysed.The study came as separate figures from the NTA showed that the number of taxi licences issued continued to fall.
As of December 31 last, there were 21,146 active licences in use. This compares with 27,429 in 2007.
Among other discoveries of the survey was that taxis were typically hired for 42pc of the time they were on the road, and the typical journey was 14.9kms.
The average speed was 27kmh, but some drivers reached 90kmh across their trips, suggesting they worked “in uncongested areas on the perimeter of the city, by night”.
Supply was also found to be low between midnight and 4am, except on Saturday and Sunday morning and the most used opening sentence by Dublin tax drivers to customers was “D’ya see that bleedin’ Enda Kenny…”