Sticky seats, overcharging, and a driver pretending to throw a passenger’s phone out a window are just some of the hundreds of complaints filed with the taxi regulator so far this year.
Documents released to the Irish Examiner under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that in the first half of 2019 the National Transport Authority received on average some 100 complaints a month about taxi drivers’ behaviour or the state of their vehicle.
In total, the NTA received 610 complaints from January 1 to the end of June 2019.
A total of 36 complaints related to the condition, roadworthiness and cleanliness of the vehicle booked.
One sample complaint, registered in January, criticised both the appearance of the driver and his vehicle.
“I was deeply shocked and concerned upon entering the vehicle as to the level of unkemptness by the appearance of the driver and the vehicle itself. The seats were very sticky. I felt very dirty coming out of his vehicle,” the complainant wrote.
The NTA said this complaint was not proceeded with, giving “no evidence of any offence” as the reason.
The largest number of complaints related to the conduct, behaviour and identification of an SPSV driver - of which there were 229 in six months alone.
In March, a 20-year-old woman complained about her evening trip in the front seat of a taxi, accompanied by three friends in the back.
“The driver laughed and I myself stated 'I know that was a joke, but I don't think it's very funny'."
She said from that point on she “tried to engage minimally” with the driver.
“For the remainder of the journey the driver laughed and made derisory comments,” she said.
The NTA said this driver was issued with a caution.