THE first taxis in Palma using a global positioning system (GPS) will be on the roads during the first fifteen days of June, followed by more in the summer and next year. In total there will be 160 taxis that carry this modern equipment and by the summer this is likely to increase up to 200 taxis, said the Vicepresident of the Radio-Taxi Association, Arnau Bisquerra. Many other taxi drivers in Palma are in the process of installing these devices, and the Head of the Palma-Taxis Association Isidre Arcos said that by the start of 2006 there will be 500 taxis with GPS. By installing these global positioning systems, it is hoped that the taxi service will improve, as well as offering more services to the passengers and better peace of mind for the taxi driver. The Global Positioning Systems are not cheap but it is hoped that the benefits they provide will outweigh the cost (see Fact File article on this page). For a new GPS system the taxi driver has to pay around 3'000 euros, and Palma City Council is now expected to offer financial grants to taxi drivers.
The electronic equipment allows the driver to know exactly where he/she is at any time of the day, and it also provides the location of all the other associated taxis. In this way it is expected that the taxi service in Palma with this new technology will be quicker, more efficient and as a result more reliable.