Dublin the Number of Taxis Was a Mistake

With thousands more licensed taxis than New York City, Dublin Ireland is facing a glut of idle cabs.
December 2, 2008, 6am PST | Michael Dudley
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"The most visible sign of the Irish recession is not the endless 'For Sale' or 'Price Reduced' signs that line residential and business streets; it is the sheer number of idle taxis. At some taxi stands in central Dublin, the cars are lined up a two dozen deep, their drivers bored rigid behind the wheel.

No wonder: There are about 16,000 licensed taxis in Dublin, up from about 2,800 in the late 1990s. That's a lot of taxis. New York City, which is 7 or 8 times bigger than Dublin (population 1.2-million), has about 13,000 licensed cabs.

A decade ago, Dubliners complained about having to wait an hour or longer for a cab. So the city deregulated the licensing process. Almost anyone could get in the taxi game and the numbers grew enormously. [Then] the recession...hit and drivers are getting desperate. Dublin could do with half the number of taxis."

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Published on Monday, December 1, 2008 in The Globe and Mail
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