West Belfast’s black taxi service is set to resume with safety measures in place.
The vehicles, which traverse the west and north of the city, have been kitted out with perspex screens to protect both drivers and passengers.
Brian Barr, a spokesman for Belfast Taxis CIC, said it will be a phased resumption of services carrying fewer passengers.
Black Taxis returning in West & North Belfast tomorrow— West and North Belfast Black Taxis (@BlackTaxisWBNB) June 7, 2020
New safety measures include;
âªï¸Perspex screens in front & rear
âªï¸Additional plastic curtain in rear
âªï¸Payment upon entry via hatch
âªï¸Safety guidance signage in all taxis
âªï¸Maximum 4 passengers down from 6 pic.twitter.com/lg5NHTRhV7
“We have undertaken a comprehensive review of our taxi operation and put in place safety measures to protect our passengers and drivers,” he said.
“We will be operating a phased return and our initial operating hours from tomorrow will be 7am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 12-7pm on Sunday.
“Our taxis will take a maximum of four passengers per taxi instead of the usual six passengers.
“Perspex screens have been installed in the front and in the rear of all our taxis along with plastic curtains to safely separate passengers.
“Payment will now be made into a new payment hatch upon entering the taxi.
“Sanitiser stations have been installed in all taxis and multiple signage giving guidance to ensure passenger and driver safety are in place throughout each taxi, and we are asking passengers to wear protective face coverings.
“We will also be introducing a new private booking service where you can pre-book a black taxi for personal use.
“This will be ideal for people attending hospital and medical appointments and all taxis are wheelchair accessible.”
The black taxi public transport service has been operating in the west of the city since 1971.
Mr Barr said the pandemic has been the first time in 50 years that the service had a break in operating.
“Now we are ready to get back onto our routes and get back to serving the community in safety,” he added.