On Sunday, June 30th, RTE’s Fair City episode included a scene, where an intending taxi passenger approaching the line of taxis was invited by the driver of the taxi at the back of the line of taxis to enter his taxi. whereupon as she, the intending passenger was accepting the invitation and was about to enter that taxi, she was ordered and directed by other taxi operatives to take the first taxi at the rank, an instruction she complied with!!
Now while there were other issues in this episode, such as an unlicensed Taxi Driver, the particular scene referred to, contains and perpetuates a deeply cherished taxi drivers myth and false public perception, that an intending taxi passenger is obliged to take the first taxi at the front of a taxi rank, this is not the actual legal situation, rather it is the intending passengers lawful right to select any taxi plying for hire at a Taxi Rank (Stand) regardless of whether or not it’s the first, fifth or last one in the line of taxis at the rank. Further, it is an offence for such a taxi driver to refuse to accept the fare simply because of not being the first taxi at the rank, for which the said taxi driver could be subject to serious penalties!! Now one thinks if Fair City’s scriptwriters are going to develop a storyline involving the legalities of taxi drivers and taxi/cab companies manner and ways of conducting themselves, perhaps a little research and actual public information on the subject might be a good idea!! It’s surprising the usually vocal Taxi Industry has not had something to say or is the meter ticking?