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SIX reasons why taxi and private hire CROSS-BORDER HIRING remains a controversial subject

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Taxi and private hire cross-border hiring refers to the practice of licensed taxis or private hire vehicles operating in areas outside their licensing jurisdiction. This means that a taxi or private hire vehicle licensed in one area can legally pick up passengers in another area where it is not licensed to operate.

The issue of cross-border hiring has sparked significant controversy within the taxi and private hire industry. Here are some reasons for the controversy:

1. Licensing regulations: Different areas often have specific licensing regulations that vehicles and drivers must adhere to in order to ensure passenger safety and quality of service. Cross-border hiring may allow vehicles and drivers to bypass these regulations, leading to concerns about public safety.

2. Fair competition: Local taxi and private hire services argue that cross-border hiring creates unfair competition. Vehicles operating outside their licensed area may have lower operating costs, different pricing structures, or different standards of service. This can create an imbalance in the market, disrupting the fair competition among local operators.

3. Loss of revenue: Local operators may argue that cross-border hiring leads to a loss of revenue for them. If passengers are choosing vehicles from outside the area, it can impact the income of local drivers and operators.

4. Accountability and enforcement: Cross-border hiring can pose challenges in terms of accountability and enforcement. When a vehicle is licensed in a different area, it may be more difficult to hold drivers and operators accountable for any misconduct or breaches of regulations. This can hinder effective regulation and protection of passengers.

5. Establishing local knowledge: Taxis and private hire vehicles often pride themselves on having extensive knowledge of their operating area. Cross-border hiring may result in drivers who are unfamiliar with the local area, potentially leading to subpar service or difficulties in navigating the roads.

6. Public perception and trust: The controversial nature of cross-border hiring may affect public perception and trust in the industry as a whole. Passengers may be wary of using services that do not operate within their local licensing regulations, raising concerns about safety and reliability.

To address the controversy surrounding cross-border hiring, regulators and industry stakeholders often grapple with the need to strike a balance between ensuring fair competition, safeguarding passenger safety, and maintaining the integrity of local licensing systems.


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