Several taxi companies across Derry have begun using taxi meters from this week, with local users being advised to expect a slight increase in fares.
All taxi companies must switch to new system by the December 31.
Eamonn O’Donnell from the North West Taxi Proprietors has advised: “Due to recent legislation, every A&B Class taxi in the city must have a taxi-meter and printer fitted and have a sign on the roof.
“A new metered fare structure is being introduced. Companies are not all charging the exact same rates and some individuals may charge higher rates. Higher rates are legal if they are under the DVA maximum tariff. Companies are trying to strike a balance between what local people can afford and what is a fair return for the drivers. Taxi companies and drivers value their customers.”
Mr O’Donnell said most companies have agreed that the minimum fare will be £3, and all fares will be calculated on distance as opposed to the old fixed fare regime. “Customers can expect a moderate increase on existing fares,” he said. “It is important that customers discuss their route with drivers. If anyone has a query on a fare, they should ask for a receipt,” he said.
“Waiting time will be charged at 20p per minute and this will be evident on the receipt when a charge has been incurred. Waiting time may vary slightly from company to company. As distance is the price determinant, most journeys from the Town, Bog, Creggan and Rosemount to the Waterside, including runs to the Gransha complex or Strathfoyle, will be shorter if the Craigavon Bridge is used and vice versa. We advise people to become familiar with their local company and taxi driver rates.”