by Irene Taylor
THE Palma city council and the Balearic government will provide 56'000 euros towards the cost of buying and installing protective shields and GPS equipment in taxis, in an effort to protect the drivers. By the end of next year, 40 per cent of the taxis will have these new safety measures, Mayor Catalina Cirer said after signing the agreement with the taxi sector yesterday. She was accompanied by Balearic minister of public works, housing and transport Mabel Cabrer, and the city councillor in charge of traffic, Carlos Veramendi. The funds, 46 per cent more than was allocated for the scheme last year, will pay up to 20 per cent of the cost of purchasing and installing the security systems, with a maximum of 300 euros per taxi, Veramendi said. The cost of installation is an estimated 1'100 euros per vehicle.
In addition to added security, the cabbies will also be able to accept payment by credit card and print a receipt with the cost of the journey.
Nearly 200 drivers have applied for this subsidy so far this year, Cirer said, adding that the objective of the scheme is to satisfy all the requests.
If the money runs out, it will be topped up, the Mayor revealed.
She added that last year, the agreement only covered what she described as “passive security,” that is, the shields, while this year “active security” such as GPS which means taxis can be loca- By the end of next year, 40 per cent of city cabs will have the new security measures ted at all times has been included.
Many city cabs already have the GPS system.
Cabrer said that her department and the city council wanted to ensure that taxi drivers were protected.
Earlier this month a cabbie was murdered in Bilbao, and just last weekend, a Calvia cabbie was allegedly attacked and robbed by three British youths.

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