TEN per cent of the Palma taxi fleet (in total 150 taxi drivers) have now installed screens between themselves and their passengers in an effort to stop attacks and muggings. These measures have been carried out thanks to an agreement between the Balearic Government and the Palma City Council, who are both funding the cost of installing these taxi screens (15'000 euros from each institution). It costs a taxi driver approximately 1'160 euros to install this screen, and 20 percent of this is covered by the funding available from the two institutions. Only ten percent of taxi drivers in Palma have opted to take part in this initiative. “The number is small because the cars are not ready, there is not enough space, and people don't like using a taxi with a screen, and if they have the choice, they will choose to hire a taxi without a screen”, said Gabriel Moragues, President of the taxi small business association. “From the start we knew that it would not be a good idea to install them and we knew that the majority of taxi drivers would not do it”, added Gabriel Moragues. Between January and March 2004 there was an 20 percent increase in thefts and aggressive attacks on cabbies. On the other hand, the initiative to install GPS satellite navigation systems in taxis has had a better response. More than one hundred taxi drivers have already installed a GPS device. “In the next few days the Palma Radio taxis will install it, which take the numbers up to more than 400 cars. This initiative is more popular than installing screens”, said Gabriel Moragues.
In total there are 12'376 taxis in Palma.