KINSALE could become the first town in the country to participate in a Ruxi (Rural Taxi) pilot programme that hopes to address the shortage of available cabs in the area.
Senior executives from MyTaxi – a leading European taxi app company – from the UK and Dublin met with a representative group of stakeholders in Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale, this week to discuss a Ruxi scheme for the region.
Minister of State Jim Daly – who first proposed the idea of a rural-based taxi scheme last October – briefed the My Taxi executives on the issues faced by businesses across a range of sectors from hospitality to care of the elderly on the lack of sufficient transport options for staff and customers.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Deputy Daly reiterated his commitment to addressing the issue of rural isolation by promoting this initiative, which if successful can be copied in every other rural town and village in Ireland.
‘This is a very exciting project which could provide real transport solutions to connect communities,’ said Deputy Daly.
‘I have had numerous meetings with different transport companies but I really believe MyTaxi are genuinely committed to helping solve one of the greatest afflictions affecting rural Ireland today.
‘This is an issue worth fighting for and I will remain relentless in pursuit of a solution.’
A number of solutions and remedies were proposed at the meeting and MyTaxi has committed to returning with a proposal to Minister Daly by the end of August.
Among the likely measures to be proposed is the use of a single app throughout the greater Kinsale area to better utilise existing taxi and cabs and increase demand outside of peak times to create a more sustainable business model for existing operators and new entrants.
Other additional initiatives and incentives will also be considered to attract new rural taxi drivers.
Last month it was confirmed that the NTA (National Transport Authority) are to introduce new and more simplified application processes as well as some monetary assistance for new licencees, where there is an absence of existing cover.