|Taxi rank on the Avd Mediterraneo|
At present a passenger cannot get into a taxi if it is registered in another town. Take the following scenario - a passenger takes a taxi from say Albir to Benidorm - probably a daily occurance. Once the passenger has alighted that taxi driver cannot pick up another passenger in Benidorm as it is out of his area, so he has to drive back all the way to Albir empty before he can pick up another passenger.
There are many consequences to this - the most obvious one for the passenger is that the fare needs to be "inflated" to compensate for an empty return journey and secondly the extra pollution and congestion it creates.
|Map of Marina Baixa with Benidorm in red|
The Valencian Agency of Transportation is in the process of the creation of a zone which will cover all of the towns within the Marina Baixa EXCEPT Benidom who have voted against the inclusion. This is the third attempt by the Agency to create a local zone in the last 10 years which by law requires 75% support - so now with 78% in agreement it can go onto the next stage for approval.
The presidents of the taxi associations are keen to point out the advantages for the creation of such a zone and quoted the following. "The most obvious is the fares would come down as they are not having to pay for an empty return journey. Also it would reduce customer wait times, which in the peak Summer months can be up to an hour and lastly it would improve the service in rural towns such as Guadalest which has a limited taxi service. It will provide a better user service and encourage the use of taxi's"
It seems absurd to me that a taxi driver which takes someone from Altea to Guadalest is then not allowed to bring anyone back even if there is someone waiting but no local taxi is available!
The Benidorm taxi drivers held a vote to inform the Directorate General of Transport that an absolute majority - 170 of the 232 taxi drivers in the city voted NO to the joint zone. I suppose that they fear the consequences as many passengers get a taxi into the town and if those drivers could pick passengers up the Benidorm taxi's would be loosing business. Lets see if this gets passed before the start of the busy Summer season.