One of my photos

Taxi for O’Leary!

October 6th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 10 Comments · Life

I couldn’t believe some of the stuff in this article in today’s paper, and the bit next to it.

Living in a town where the economy is pretty much dependent on the aviation industry, its interesting to read about how the business model for these economy airlines works, but isn’t it amazing what we will tolerate in the cause of cheap flights? Obviously there is the impact on the environment and climate change and everything, and the increasingly well-documented effect on holiday destinations, and exploitation of the foreign locals, but I did not realise how much the exploitation begins at home.

The Ryanair crews have to:

…pay for their own training, uniforms and meals and staff at the company’s office have to use their own pens and are not even allowed to use the company’s electricity to charge their mobile phones.

It comes as no surprise to hear that trade unions are not recognised by Ryanair.

And how about Michael O’Leary, the man in charge of Ryanair? he has:

…acquired a taxi licence and equipped a Mercedes with a meter so that his chauffeur could get around Dublin quicker by using bus lanes.

So thats what I learned today – the spirit of the 80’s is still alive and kicking.

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10 Comments so far ↓

  • Tim Almond

    What’s the difference between him doing that and just hiring a taxi each day? The result is the same.

    Incidentally, why should taxis get to go in a lane set aside for public transport? A taxi does nothing to ease congestion.

  • Skuds

    On the face of it a good question – and one which someone should ask him. Why doesn’t he just take a taxi? Is it because then he would be just like any other taxi-hirer and not be getting any sort of advantage over the rest? That seems to me what it is all about. That and an aversion to public transport.

    I have always considered taxis (and airlines) to be public transport, possibly the one thing O’Leary and I agree on. Also a point of contention when someone says they never use public transport and you say what about that flight to Paris then…

    Letting taxis use bus lanes along with other public transport does have an effect on congestion. If you take your car from A to B you end up having a car left at B. If lots of people take their cars you have lots of cars left at B. Letting taxis use a bus lane means that you can actually have a bus lane instead of a row of parked cars. Take a taxi from A to B and the taxi doesn’t hang around, it is off to get another fare.

    O’Leary’s ‘taxi’ will drop him off and then what? Hang around, getting in the way of traffic until it is time to take him back? Or maybe it goes off picking up strangers and taking them where they want to go – but somehow I doubt it.

    In London a lot of the taxi journeys start or end at a railway station. You can can’t take a train directly from , say, Bristol, to where you need to be, but you can get it to Paddington then take a taxi to where you want to go. Making the taxi journey fast is part of the encouragement to not drive a car from Bristol.

  • Tim Almond

    Taxis using bus lanes has only one effect on congestion – to raise it.

    The most congestion-free way for 1 person to be transported is in their own car. The reason is that to get them to do their journey requires no further distance than from the start of their journey to the end of their journey.

    A taxi, on the other hand has to travel from where they already are to point A to pick up the person for the start of their journey and then transport them to their destination.

  • Skuds

    Are you saying that replacing 100s of buses with 1000s of cars will improve traffic flow?

    Surely for a single person there is less congestion if they walk, cycle or use a motorbike or moped than a car. Somethign that does not involve having an average of 4 empty seats on the road anyway.

  • Tim Almond

    No, what I meant that if someone is going to travel by car then it’s less congesting if they go themselves than to use a taxi.

  • Jane Skudder

    Tim, I think Skuds will just refer you back to answer 2. I, however, would say that people who seem to think that passing a driving test gives them the god-given right to drive everywhere and, frequently, park wherever they can find space themselves do very little to reduce congestion. I use public transport a lot being a non-driver and believe me there is nothing to be afraid of – it won’t turn you into a chav or anything….

  • Tim Almond


    Where else does your god disagree with the law?

  • Skuds

    Nice question to put to an atheist 🙂

  • E Bungle

    I don’t know how god came into it? but personally I would like to see more to encourage car share’s and motorbikes over taxi’s. maybe we could say that if we introduce a rule where 4 or more in a car and motorbikes can use car-share lanes, then taxi passengers would be inclined to share their cab and speed up their journey. but when you see a cab driving down the bus lane with just one person in the car zooming past me and my four car-sharees it strikes me as a get out of traffic clause for the rich! I would love to afford to get a taxi into work everyday but simply can’t afford it!

  • Skuds

    Are taxis for rich people? The scandal in Crawley is that it is cheaper for three people to take a taxi into town than a bus, and certainly cheaper to pay for parking than to take a bus.

    It hardly encourages me to leave my car at home.

    The non-Oyster prices in London are even worse – is it three quid now for one stop on the tube?

    A lot of taxi users are probably rich (or more likely on expenses) but remember that a lot of local authorities subsidise taxi fares for older or disabled people who find using other public transport difficult. The chances are that the single passenger is claiming for his journey, but he could be a blind man who lives a mile from the nearest bus stop.

    Car share lanes are good though. Hard to put into existing roads: we have seen the chaos in Crawley from adding extra bus lanes which are not even continuous. But should be considered on trunk roads and new developments. Of course without any enforcement they end up being a short cut for anyone prepared to use them, like bus lanes are now, or disabled parking spaces.