The Small Public Service Vehicle Market in Ireland: Regulation and the Recession

Paul K. Gorecki

Abstract


The small public service vehicle (SPSV) market in Ireland appears to have adjusted well to the changed economic circumstances since the onset of the recession. Despite this, a prohibition has been introduced since June 2010 on new taxi and hackney licences, while a series of measures are being introduced in 2012 and 2013 that are likely to limit the flexibility of the SPSV market to respond to changes in demand and supply, especially during busy peak periods, while at the same time obscuring market signals and making regulation more difficult. Taken together these measures mean that there is a real danger that when the economy revives and demand for SPSV services increases that there will be increased waiting times, as there were in the 1990s when taxi numbers were restricted, while fare discounting will end much sooner than it otherwise would. In this paper these issues are explored together with the implications for independence of the SPSV regulatory regime.

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