The Palma city council will not raise daytime taxi rates next year, according to deputy mayor José Manuel Sierra. He said that the night time rate (after 9pm and on Sundays and holidays) would go up a little, but the increase would be lower than the rise in the Consumer Price Index predicted for next year. Sierra also said that from January it will be possible to pay taxi fares with the citizen's card or with credit cards. The taxi meters will be fitted with printers early next year, and the cabs will also be fitted with a GPS satellite control system, similar to the one which will be installed in buses, so that if a taxi has a breakdown or the cabbie is held up, its position can be pinpointed at once. At the moment, the meter starts at 300 pesetas, and the charge is 82 pesetas per kilometre during the day, and 123 pesetas a kilometre at night and on holidays. Sierra said that talks had already been held with taxi owners, and he was confident that they would agree with the council's plans not to raise daytime fares. One of the biggest problems cabbies have had to tackle in recent years was the spectacular increase in the cost of insurance, and Sierra said that the council was willing to mediate with the insurance companies. Regarding payment by citizen's card (which is already used to pay bus fares), the legal department is working on changes to the municipal taxi regulations, so that payment can be made by this or regular credit card. Commenting on the printer fixed to the meter, Sierra said it will print a receipt, and the passenger will no longer have to ask for one specifically if he needs to justify the fare. By pegging fares, the council hopes to encourage people to use taxis to get around Palma, rather than by car.


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