Leo Varadkar says Lyft and Uber could help tackle Irish taxi shortage 1 month ago

Leo Varadkar says Lyft and Uber could help tackle Irish taxi shortage

Desperate times?

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber could provide a way of dealing with the current taxi shortage in Ireland.

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The Tánaiste's comments on Thursday (16 June) come after reports of people struggling to find taxis following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

As a result of this, Festival Republic Managing Director Melvin Benn warned on Wednesday that people attending upcoming gigs at Marlay Park should not rely on taxis to get home.

While attending a press event in Dublin, Varadkar was asked if the Government was taking steps to address the taxi shortage.

In response, he admitted that it is "very hard" to get a taxi at the moment, attributing the issue to the "snapback in demand that's occurred as a consequence of the pandemic".

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Comparing taxis to Dublin Airport and the Passport Office, the Tánaiste said a lot of systems are "struggling to cope" with the rapid heightening of demand.

"These things will settle over time and will be sorted out," he added.

“You know, one thing I'd like us to look at again quite frankly in Ireland is the whole issue of Uber and Lyft for example.

“The big difference that I find going to other parts of the world is that it is much easier to get a ride essentially – to get a car ride," he said, before laughing at the way he phrased his point.

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“I’ll do that again... What I find is, when you go to other countries you have other options than a taxi. Whether it's public transport, you also have things like Uber and you've things like Lyft.

“And they're just not available in Ireland in the same way and maybe we need to look at that again and see if we can liberalise that.”