The first Uber's roll out of Poligono Son Olms. | Pilar Pellicer

Better late than never! The arrival of the Uber taxi service will make a big difference to Mallorca, but it could also put taxi drivers on the warpath and lead to protests and possible industrial action at a time when they are most needed. The introduction of Uber in Mallorca had been mentioned on numerous occasions but it must have caught many by surprise when it was announced on Wednesday. Did the taxi drivers know this was going to happen? I think not. Perhaps they should have been given some warning but this could have made the problem even worse.

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The problem is that there is a severe shortage of taxis in Mallorca during the summer months, especially outside Palma. Calvia, despite being one of the largest tourist municipalities in Spain, has just 200 taxis. Over recent years this has been shown to be too little. In fact, the shortage of taxis is becoming a real problem. The local authorities have appeared to be incapable of resolving the taxi issue. The only way forward would be to introduce more taxi licences but this would have been met with protest.

So now enter Uber who have really put the cat amongst the pigeons. To be honest, local cab drivers, like their counterparts in other European cities, are going to have to learn to live with Uber. They are not going to go away. At the same time it is a limited number of vehicles. The most important thing is that the issue of a lack of taxis is being resolved and this is certainly some good news. Otherwise we would have faced a summer standstill.


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