A shortage of taxis is partly due to a lack of new licences. | Jaume Morey

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The president of one of the taxi-driver associations, Biel Moragues, says that all transport in Mallorca and the Balearics is being "overwhelmed". The reason, he adds, "is a serious lack of workers in the entire tourism sector".

A shortage of taxis is, he argues, most apparent in Palma. This is because the town hall is making it increasingly difficult to sit the exam needed to obtain a licence. Meanwhile, the EMT bus service in the city needs to improve this summer. Moragues points to a situation never previously experienced, one affecting taxi drivers and therefore customers.

Antoni Bauçà, the president of another association, says that the town hall has lowered the number of entrance calls from six to two - these are for new drivers to take exams for a licence. This is what is causing the current "distortion" in service at a time of high demand. The lack of new licences means that taxi rotations cannot be made in order to extend working hours. "This is why this situation has repercussions for the scheduling of services."

He believes that excessive regulation by the town hall is adding to a taxi shortage in Palma. Moreover, the town hall prohibits drivers from covering services in areas of high demand, such as the port, airport and Playa de Palma for nine days a month. This is in order to focus on the rest of Palma. As a result, some drivers take the day off.

Both Bauçà and Moragues recognise that the situation is very difficult and are asking the authorities to respond to what is happening, especially as the summer season is starting. They feel that problems will persist during the the summer, "unless there are changes to municipal regulations in Palma and other municipalities".

Moragues feels that "we are always the scapegoat". "People complain that they have been unable to get on a bus and therefore have to take a taxi, only for them to say that there are no taxis because they have not been able to get one right away." In his view, this masks "a serious problem" to do with the EMT bus service and all of the island's road transport.

They both agree that twice as many drivers' licences are needed in order to prevent shortages.