A group of taxi drivers. Not all are antagonistic towards the bus services.

11-01-2017Teresa Ayuga

The announcement of five summer season bus services for direct routes from the airport to certain tourist resorts seems certain to result in protests by taxi drivers that will start next month. The taxi drivers say that they have been deceived by transport minister Marc Pons, who held a meeting with representatives a few hours before he made the announcement, at which he discussed the idea without saying that its implementation was imminent.

The taxi drivers argue that the bus services are unnecessary, that they will duplicate services already available and put at risk the employment of over 2,000 people. They calculate that there will be losses of between ten and thirty per cent.  The government, for its part, reckons that the new routes will mean only an increase to ten per cent of the current six per cent of passengers who make use of public transport at the airport.

The drivers insist that the tariffs operating at the airport are very competitive in that the minimum is some 20 or 30% lower than other Spanish cities popular with tourists. They also believe that the buses will appeal to the "mass" tourist rather than a "quality" visitor.

Not all drivers are opposed. Some see the buses as a further form of competition, which means a need to improve conditions regarding taxi operations and offer better service. Others believe that car-rental is the main enemy and that a bus service is something that should be available.

Nevertheless, a meeting of the Balearic Transport Council today was expected to have been somewhat tense.

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C Thompson / Hace over 3 years

2 improvements Mallorca taxis need to make. No 1, The fare should be what is on the meter, remove the button that allows them to rack up the prices unfairly. No 2. All taxis must allow payment by credit card.

More transparency will mean more customers.

+3-

minodora vila / Hace over 3 years

Very please with the bus service. It very good transportation and doesn't case congestion on the high ways. Thank you

+3-

Simon Tow / Hace over 3 years

Steve, I can think of two : prostitutes and solicitors.

+2-

Steve, Palma Nova / Hace over 3 years

The problem really is that taxi owners have been paying unbelievably inflated prices for the licences, just to buy a job for life, and many have to repay their massive loans as well as the running costs. But it's all the same in Mallorca, - be very careful what you pay, or invest in a tourist area-based business. Bars and restaurants have seen their traspasos that they bought diminish, or disappear in recent years. It's not just the taxi's that have to adapt to much more competition to survive, - but hey, welcome to the World.

+5-

Rose Hyatt / Hace over 3 years

There should be airport buses, plus many more buses in resorts to Palma etc.

Mallorca is very behind the offering that many European resorts already have.

Back to striking again. As the boom happens you will see many Unions calling to strike. It will be the air traffic controllers, baggage handlers, coach drivers, hospitality workers next, when restaurants in resorts will not be able to offer a meal to a hungry young family on holiday.

Why not introduce an Uber like App where taxi sharing becomes a norm.

+5-

Steve Riches / Hace over 3 years

Tourists are the financial lifeblood of Mallorca. Their interests come ahead of a cartel if taxi-drivers. I appreciate that being a taxi driver involves long hours, significant investment, and a not particularly high income, and most of them are genuinely helpful to customers BUT there's plenty of customers desperate for a taxi on this island: all they need is a more efficient way of matching taxi and potential customer. An island-wide call-a-taxi phone app would soon solve the problem. Has anyone got the guts and ability to bury petty regional rivalries to make it work? More people would use taxis and trade would be brisk and in that scenario a reduction in fare prices may actually lead to an increaae in taxi-drivers' income. There can't be many jobs where you spend most of your working life hanging round in hope of a customer.

+5-

Mike / Hace over 3 years

Well said john ,

+2-

John / Hace over 3 years

What a surprose. There should be more choice on airport transport. Competition is healthy, it keeps prices keen. I've never agreed with the laws regarding taking someone to the airport, it's not about insurance, as you are allowed to take them anywhere else. It all needs to change, and a good bus service will help take things that way. A taxi driver is a self-important non-skilled labourer that drives like the road belongs to him, and no more professional than a road-sweeper.

+0-