With the support of its members, IRU has launched a social media campaign, support4taxi, with operators and drivers from Germany, Ireland, Romania and Spain expressing their concerns on the future of their sector.
Many countries are back in lockdown following a third wave of COVID-19 and taxi operators have once again seen their incomes collapse. “Our business has decreased by more than 70%,” says Ruben, a taxi driver from Madrid.
Restrictions on events, travel and the closure of all non-essential shops have dramatically reduced demand. Tamar, a single mother of two from Dublin, drives a taxi to support her family and worries that customers are rare during the day and at night only a few taxis are on duty.
While many governments have decided that taxis should continue to operate despite low demand, particularly to transport essential workers who have no alternative, few are providing sufficient financial support to the sector. “It’s a fight for survival right now. Without government support our business will go under,” say taxi drivers Mustafa and Bartlomiej in Hamburg.
Taxi and hire car operators and drivers have made significant efforts to ensure passenger safety, including disinfection, refurbishing of vehicles and regular ventilation. But customers are still rare. “We have taken measures to ensure the health of our travellers, which involved significant investment from us. But we have very few customers: our business has dropped by 80%,” says Romanian taxi driver Ioan.
IRU’s social media campaign has been warmly received by the public, evidence of the taxi industry’s positive reputation. If you have any questions or ideas regarding taxi campaigns, please contact our Brussels office.