Taxi strike leaves hundreds of people waiting at Malaga airport and train stations


The huge queue of taxis at Malaga airport. / MIGUE FERNANDEZ

From 11 a.m. Thursday virtually the entire fleet registered on the Costa del Sol stopped operating for two hours, their second strike against private taxis

Tension and unrest reigned during the second day of stoppage of local taxi drivers this Thursday, September 22, which mainly affected Malaga airport and local train stations.

From 11 a.m. virtually the entire registered fleet on the Costa del Sol went on strike for two hours to protest plans that would allow private rental companies such as Uber, Cabify and Bolt, known as VTC, to operate in cities from October 1st.

From that date, Spanish government rules would mean they could only pick up passengers crossing from town to town, although the Andalusian regional authority has announced regulations allowing short-distance services to continue.

“Our taxi service has always coexisted with the VTC; they have their pre-booking services, and we have our urban and interurban services. Now they are invading our field of work with illegal applications, and to make matters worse, the Junta de Andalucía has published a project that specifies that they are not going to regulate them and therefore it is in favor of VTCs,” said Pepe Durán, one of the taxi drivers who took part in the strike.

Unlike Thursday last week, when a skeletal service was operating, this week only essential journeys were operated, such as the transport of disabled passengers, families with young children and the elderly.

At the María Zambrano station in the city of Malaga, an agitated customer asked a taxi driver: “Whoever wants to stop and pick up should be able to do so, right?”

There were also moments of tension between the taxi drivers themselves, as some of them arrived with the intention of picking up passengers despite the stop, some out of ignorance, others because they were not in favor of the stoppage and the loss of two hours of work.

“The problem is as much for them as it is for us. We respect their opinion. It’s their job and their point of view. But if everything goes well, it will be thanks to our struggle,” Durán said.

At 1 p.m., the fleet resumed regular service, picking up customers who had waited around 30 minutes at taxi ranks to be taken to their destination. At the moment, the sector does not rule out continuing with new protests that threaten to be bigger and stronger.

Another stop is scheduled next Tuesday, September 27, at the airport, in the night.


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