Taxi drivers in Glasgow are considering a reduction on all fares to help the trade regain a foothold in the transport industry once COVID-19 restrictions are eased, a source close to TaxiPoint has said.
With government restrictions put on travel and many people working from home, the taxi industry has been hit extremely hard during the pandemic, but the big concern is the long term effects the trade will face.
One way to encourage taxi use by members of the public returning to work, could be to offer reduced price fares.
Glasgow cab drivers are now deciding whether a 15 per cent discount applied to all trips would be a good way forward, with Glasgow Taxis Ltd (GTL) at the forefront of the proposals.
Speaking to TaxiPoint, one taxi driver, close to the proposals, said: “It looks highly likely that members will vote in favour of a discount for all Glasgow cab users.
”This is an unprecedented proposal in the Glasgow taxi trade, but these are the most challenging times our trade has ever faced.”
If the discounted fares are agreed, it could see an upturn in cab users, but there is a flip-side; prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Glasgow City Council (GCC) had agreed to bring in the LEZ to all vehicles entering the city centre. This meant petrol vehicles must reach an emissions standard of Euro 4 and diesel vehicles a Euro 6 standard by December 2022.
These regulations mean many taxi drivers would be forced to purchase newer vehicles - a big commitment even during the best of times.
Unite the Union are now urging GCC to push back the date to 2027 due to many drivers unable to make a living during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A spokesperson for Unite Glasgow Cab Section, said: “If the Glasgow taxi is to survive the ensuing economic catastrophe, and to continue providing vital services for disabled, elderly and vulnerable groups who rely so heavily upon us, it will require an exemption from LEZ compliance for fully wheelchair accessible taxis until at least 2027.”
Image credit: Ross Campbell