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Black hacks determined not to lose out

By Ciara Quinn

THE black taxi service are doing all in their power to ensure they don’t lose out when the new rapid transit system becomes operational.

Belfast Taxi Community Interest Company (BTCIC) Manager Stephen Savage said their main aim was to make sure “we do not lose out”.

“We have been kept up to date throughout this process by political reps and the Roads Service so we are up to speed on what is happening,” he said.

“We are at the minute working towards concessionary fares, the same as the buses have, so that we come under the Department for Regional Development as well. This should come into force in April, so we are working together on this.

“It is our understanding with regards to the transit system that there are plans for ‘hubs’ to be created on the road, where people will get dropped off and our drivers will be waiting to pick up and then their journey will continue, whether that’s to the Whiterock, Turf Lodge, Lagmore or Mount Eagles, for example,” he said.

However, Stephen said he’s   sceptical about claims that the new rapid transit system will be up and running by 2017.

“To be honest, I can see problems arising from this proposal and 2017 is a long way off. Personally, I would be sceptical about the service being operational for 2017 due to the current financial restraints.

“At the end of the day, we need to be prepared for it and that is what we are working on and we will continue to work on that.”


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