Taxis installed with Covid plastic screens have become the targets of people who are “doing runners” without paying. Those were the views of Gerry Macken from the Taxi Alliance of Ireland. He claims it has “got more prevalent since the screens came in”.
Macken also said that these people see the taxi drivers that have these screens in their cabs as “vulnerable”, as they are unlikely to be able to reach out and grab anyone attempting to leave the taxi without paying.
Macken said, “Lads are getting calls from Balbriggan to Sheriff Street and other areas of Dublin City centre and their passengers are doing runners”.
“It seems to take place in certain areas of the city. It’s always young guys in their teens who are doing it”.
Gerry Macken gave an example of the horrific ordeals that taxi drivers in that situation have experienced recently.
“The last lad I heard about is an Asian driver and they gave him a string of abuse as they were running off”.
“Obviously if you’re a lone driver and there’s two or three of them, there’s nothing you can really do. They have got so cocky. Even if there are cameras in the car, they don’t care”.
People fleeing taxis has “got more prevalent”
Mr Macken added that despite these screens costing around €500 for some taxi drivers, these sort of incidents have become a regular occurence. “It’s definetly got more prevalent since the screens came in”, he said.
He continued, “The perception of the screen for some of them when they get in (taxis) is that the driver is afraid of what’s going on around them and is vulnerable. It doesn’t occur to them that it was put in for their own safety”.
He said, “because lads were banging on it, when you were doing early morning work saying “Are you afraid in there?”, adding “That’s what you’d get. They think you are cowering in your boots”.
Like any public transport, facemasks are mandatory for anyone using taxis. More here.
Recent news on Dublin City Council here.