by Staff Reporter
ANTONIO Mangiova, chairman of the Balearic Eurotaxis Association, denied rip off charges yesterday, saying that the taxis adapted for carrying wheelchairs did not charge 75 percent more for ferrying the disabled or able bodied fares if the trip starts at Son Sant Joan airport.

He said that the taxis did charge the 15 euros for each hour's wait at the airport, as laid down by the Balearic ministry of public works, housing and transport, for all taxis in the Balearics, if the taxi is booked in advance.

Mangiova was denying a report which appeared in a local Spanish-language paper. He added that the list of prices on the Association's website was merely a guide, giving the approximate price of a trip to various destinations.

Mangiova said that the website explained to clients that fares included the cost of the trip from Palma to the airport, adding that if the cab has to wait longer because the flight has been delayed, this is not charged.

He denied that the 19 eurotaxis which provide a service in Palma receive a subsidy from ONCE (the National Organisation for the Blind) or any other private or public body, although he admitted that nine adapted taxis have applied for aid this year.

Mangiova said that his association was waiting for the Council of Majorca and the Balearic government to reply to proposals to improve the service. This includes a 30 percent reduction in fares for accredited users, an annual subsidy of 4'500 euros for adapting or maintaining each eurotaxi and exemption from road tax.

He added that the eurotaxis cost 10'000 euros a year more to run than a normal taxi, and maintenance and petrol costs are also higher.