Wednesday, January 08, 2014

By the way,have a great year

         Houses of snow heading back to the North Pole
                           3 Wise sheep bearing gifts
                                     A mock vintage van selling cakes
                       A canopy erected to remember queen Victoria's visit to Ireland

The postman was busy today, 2 letters from the same people.
The National Transport Authority telling me all about their Christmas opening times. A bit late with that one.
They are doing another survey with the public to ask them what they think, imagine using our money to find that the public would not like to pay more for taxi journeys.
The doctor never asked me if he could put up his charges.
Click here to go to their website.
They also propose to remove advertising from all taxis and roof signs.
So you will not be able to declare that you are a Cab2000 or a HailO taxi which will mean more people jumping into the wrong taxis. Over the entire world taxis and buses are used as mobile billboards.
It is extra income for the driver and extra business for everyone.
Will they be banning advertising on the Luas and the buses? No, just the taxis.
Well I hope they will repay the 100 per month that I currently get from HailO

One big thing I have against the way the taxi industry is being run at present is this.

Sunday night Heuston train station.
A a car pulls up and 3 guys get out wearing Hi Viz jackets.
They pull out their computer and clip board and 20 cars drive away from the rank.
Then they proceed to check all the guys who are remaining there.

They know by 2 things by the time they start what has just taken place.
1  All the illegal taxis have driven away.
2 Most of the taxis remaining will be checked out no problem.

So why do they not concentrate on catching the illegal drivers?
Surely after spending all this money the public deserves to to know that their daughter is not being driven home by a convicted rapist?
In Spain for example you must speak fluent Spanish and have lived in Spain for a fixed number of years before applying for a PSV license.
Its not about race or color.
It is to insure that the driver will have some minimum checkable record.
The story's I hear from passengers about rides from hell go on forever and they are about Irish drivers as well as foreign ones.
One Irish driver I know openly boasts about overcharging by as much as €20 in from the airport.
As long as this is allowed to continue the public will use taxis less and less.

But if those in power fail to act it will go on forever.

In Athens airport there is a big arrow "Taxis this way"
You go into an office and tell them where you are going and they take you money and give you a ticket to give to the taxi driver only on arrival. The driver has to go back to the office to be paid and you can tip him if he is worth it.
But you won't be robbed.
In New York taxis the sign says Mayor ************ welcomes you the city and tells you what the ballpark figure should be to your destination.
God help you if you get into a taxi in Cyprus without agreeing the cost first.
When the argument begins the other taxi drivers will gang together and start to protect the robbing driver.
Guess what ?
The police don't care one bit even though this attitude is damaging their tourist trade.

When I first applied for my taxi license I had to present my P45 paper (unemployed) then they took around 8 months to check out my past then a further few months before getting a date to do the test.
Even though many of the Garda working in the carriage office owned taxis which they rented out


2 young guys going home after a long nights work the other morning, working in a bar they had had a few drinks into the morning light.
I couldn't help joining into their conversation when I heard the subject they were talking about.
They are working in a 4 star hotel and there is a shortfall in the till over the Christmas period.
The "missing" sum amounts to €1,400
The manager has been told to hold on to all their tips until the shortfall has been made up.
I told them what my opinion was but I would double check, which I did.

If there is money missing then it is up to the police or the management to find the person responsible
It could even be a bookkeeping error.

But if the management take the tips from the staff that is defiantly theft and the newspapers and the Garda should be informed straight away.
I went down to the hotel last night and spoke to a barman who was on duty and after telling him the story he promised to pass it on.
It is easy to bully part time and foreign staff, so many people are looking for work now they send people home on a whim just to make the others jump into line.

As the old song goes "Things aint what they used to be"

The storms were something else, I was coming into Clontarf from town while the council workers were building sand bag defenses.
The traffic going into town was going at a snails pace. Then a young punk came speeding up  in the bus lane, a huge wave of water spraying up as he charged along. 2 council workers and a girl waiting at the bus shelter got soaked. But for once the Garda were there supervising.
Sirens sounded and they were on him in seconds.

It seldom happens. But what is seldom is wonderful.

This is what happens when you have too much time to spare.

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