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Should taxi drivers here have to take an English language test? The NTA is asking that question

A new questionnaire is being posed by the National Transport Authority as part of its review of how drivers should be licensed to work in the industry.

File Photo Three taxi drivers who challenged the deregulation of the taxi market in 2000 have lost their case in the High Court. The drivers argued that the sudden deregulation of the market had reduced the value of taxi plates from almost 100,000 euro to Source: Wanderley Massafelli

A NEW QUESTIONNAIRE is asking the public what requirements should be in place for a person to qualify as a taxi driver in Ireland.

The National Transport Authority is running the questionnaire, which can be viewed here.

One of the questions posed is whether or not the public believes that aspiring taxi drivers should have to prove competency in English before receiving their licence via a “practical language test”.

Other questions on the 17-point document include:

  • Should a specific test be in place for those wishing to drive taxis or other small public service vehicles (SPSVs)?
  • Should knowledge of geographic location be tested?
  • Should there be a module on professional customer service as part of any module on professional customer service?
  • Is there a need for continuous professional development (CPD) as part of any test?
  • Is a dress code necessary for taxi drivers?

The questionnaire is live for public submissions until Wednesday 30 November.

It’s understood that the NTA is undertaking the review of taxi licensing due to a significant fall in taxi driver numbers since the introduction of a SPSV “knowledge test” as part of the taxi application process in 2009.

In a statement the NTA said it is conducting the review in order to assess whether or not the testing that has been in place since 2009 “appropriately reflects today’s needs”.

That test is designed to examine an applicant’s geographical knowledge of whichever county in which the application is being made.

Currently the test takes place at five centres around the country. It lasts an hour and 45 minutes and consists of 90 questions.

A pass rate of 80% is required in order for an applicant to receive his or her taxi licence.

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