TECHNOLOGY is advancing and, little by little, public transport in the Balearics is catching up.
Half the taxi fleet in Palma already have GPS which is making life easy for cabbies. Also, in a few months the majority of people will be able to pay their taxi fares by credit or debit card.
Actually there are 1'246 licensed taxis in the city and 100 of them have security screens and 36 are adapted to take disabled people.
In addition to this, during the last few years five taxi radio stations have been put in place.
Gabriel Moragues, President of the Taxi section of PIMEM (the small and medium sized businesses association), said that in 2006 Taxis Palma Radio, which has 450 taxis, carried out 1'500'000 rides.
In Palma there are times in the day when it is almost impossible to get a taxi, but this is curious because the existing taxi fleet is enough to cover the excess, said Moragues.
The council rules establish that there must be a maximum of three taxis for every 1'000 inhabitants. Moragues said that if you take into account that the actual census of Palma is 375'000 inhabitants, then there are 120 taxis more than required.
In the taxi sector there are two things which decide the price: the number of taxis on the road and the profitability of the sector. Taxi drivers calculate the price of each journey in three different parts: the minimum fare; the mileage; and waiting time. Since 2004 fares have gone up considerably.
This is the starting price. The daytime tariff has not risen since 2004, but the nighttime tariff has gone up by 16 percent.
This is the journey in kilometres. The daytime tariff has gone up by 8.84 percent since 2004 and the nighttime and fiesta days tariff has risen by 12.9 percent.
This is the time the driver has to wait for his passenger during the journey. The daytime tariff has gone up by 27.27 percent since 2004 and the nighttime and holiday days tariff has gone up by 11.28 percent.