Taxi drivers

Carlow Nationalist – Increased number of people trained to become taxi drivers

There have been a growing number of people being trained to become taxi drivers, according to data published by Free Now.

Since the start of 2022, Free Now has seen an increase in enrollment in its online training program which helps aspiring taxi drivers pass the National Transport Authority’s SPSV entrance test.

Those wishing to become a taxi driver must achieve a 75% pass rate in the SPSV entrance test.

It comes as concerns have been raised over a lack of taxi drivers in Dublin.

In April this year, the number of people enrolled in the Free Now training program increased by 20% compared to January.

Driver data from Free Now shows that 60% of new partner drivers who joined the app in 2022 have completed the training initiative.

Niall Carson, chief executive of Free Now Ireland, said a collective stakeholder effort must be made to support taxi driver retention and encourage more drivers to join the national fleet.

“The growing number of candidates signing up for our training program since the start of 2022 is great to see as it reflects a new interest in careers in the taxi industry at a time when the national fleet remains depleted following the pandemic” , Mr. Carson said.

“The online program is very user-friendly and accessible, offering flexible learning support that enables self-directed learning for drivers who want to pass the SPSV entrance test and start a new career as a taxi driver.

“Taxi drivers play a key role as part of Ireland’s extensive public transport network. As the only on-demand service, they contribute to the mobility of people and meet individual transport needs, in particular by working during peak hours.

“It is so important that they are supported in pursuing and maintaining their careers as essential providers of an essential service.

According to Free Now, 60% of taxi drivers like their job and recommend it as a career choice.

Self-employment, flexible working hours and the ability to maintain a good work-life balance were cited by drivers as benefits of the job.