Community groups in isolated areas are being encouraged to start applying for the newly introduced: ‘Local Area Hackney License’ or ‘Rural Hackney’ license.
The licence, which is designed to facilitate low-cost entry into the taxi sector for isolated rural areas, will cost just €70 between the vehicle and drivers’ licence and will be introduced on a pilot basis.
Welcoming the move Áine Collins TD said “This is a welcome move by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to start to address the transport difficulties that rural communities face.
“Access to transport is a major issue in rural Ireland and we need creative ideas to try and solve the problem. Lack of transport in rural areas has a very negative impact on the social fabric of our rural communities and leaves many people feeling very cut off and isolated.
The recommendation for a low-cost hackney license for rural areas came from the Government’s taxi regulation review.
Applicants for the license will be required to be sanctioned by a local business or community group and need to demonstrate that their area has a deficit of public transport and taxi services. This will require the approval of the local authority.
“What I hope is that the rural transport groups in Cork North West, working with the local authorities, will be able to identify the area’s most in need of access to transport and licenses can be granted on that basis.
“This is being done on a pilot basis initially and aims to provide people with social mobility. It’s a great way to give people better access to shops, health services and local events,” said Collins.
Applications can now be made to the National Transport Authority but areas or community groups seeking one will have to demonstrate a transport (NTA) deficit for their area. An information note has been published on the website of the NTA (see link below)
Information Guide for Local Area Hackney Licences:
Local Area Hackney Application Form: