When the Government announced the introduction of the Taxi Association’s Customer Charter in October 2013 it outlined ways to ensure that City Taxi Service would be greatly improved in terms of the availability of taxis at the main ranks in town, at the border and at the airport.
However, time and again over the last three years the City Service has shown that it remains unacceptably inadequate.
Complaints about the situation by members of the public appear frequently on local social media groups and serve to highlight the strength of feeling on this matter.
To add insult to injury, taxi fares have just been increased by 50 per cent!*
Apart from the sheer lack of provision, the poor quality of the City Service gives a very damaging impression of Gibraltar to visiting businesspeople and tourists alike.
Gibraltar cannot afford for this to continue.
To give just one recent example, on the evening of bank holiday Monday 5th September, passengers arriving on flights from the UK had to wait for more than 90 minutes for taxis, often sharing the ride with other passengers to destinations which were nearby. A related letter published in the Gibraltar Chronicle made a number of very valid points, but perhaps the central theme is that without competition the service will never improve. Competition could take a variety of forms: issue new licences to owner drivers, set up an alternative company to run the City Service or introduce a service like Uber or Lyft to Gibraltar.
The GTA has had ample time to put its house in order, but it has not had any appreciable effect on the service they provide. Proper reliable alternatives must now be considered.
*Fares increased on 12th September from 20p per unit to 30p per unit (a unit is defined as 200 metres or 45 seconds or a combination of the two).
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