Unpleasant odours, stained backseats, drivers not wearing PPE and one driver’s refusal to allow a blind passenger’s guide dog in his cab were among hundreds of complaints received by the taxi regulator so far this year. That driver was subsequently suspended.
The largest number of complaints received by the National Transport Authority to date this year related to overcharging and other matters relating to fares.
A total of 439 formal complaints were made by passengers during the first six months of 2022, compared to 560 for the full year in 2021.
The condition and cleanliness of vehicles have been the subject of 14 complaints this year.One passenger reported that “the back seats were stained, the smell from the taxi was appalling”.
Several complaints since November 2021 related to drivers’ failure to wear face coverings in public service vehicles, which was mandatory between December 2020 and February 2022.
One passenger complained that a driver had failed to wear a mask and “continued to cough during the journey”, while another wore no mask and insisted on the windows being closed. He became “irritated” when asked to use a face covering.
In each of these cases, the NTA sent a formal notification of the relevant regulations to the driver. It said subsequent complaints would be notified to An Garda Síochána.