Madrid taxis are known for being white, with a diagonal red stripe down the side… and a lettering on the rear pillar. A letter that is about to disappear and that really hides a profound change in his way of working. The taxi sector is being uberized in Madrid.
What is that X?. That letter means Wednesday and specifies what day the driver of a taxi in Madrid is obliged to pay off. L, M, J or V, for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, indicate, respectively, the rest of the days during the week in which the taxi driver is obliged to stay at home.
It is not the only day he does it. On Saturdays and Sundays, the taxis in Madrid rest alternately. And they are also obliged to stop half of the holidays and, in August, for 15 days on alternate days depending on whether they are odd or even days. A regulation already announced by Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, which will change.
24 hours circulating. In addition to this restriction, a taxi cannot drive for more than 16 hours at a time. “The new text in which the Community of Madrid is working contemplates the possibility that these professionals have free time and work every day and the hours they want,” reads the official website of the region. In other words, eliminating the compulsory nature of the payroll are the star measures of the new regulations being developed by the Community of Madrid.
Added to these regulatory changes is the extension of a maximum of 50 taxi licenses per holder, instead of the limit of three licenses that is currently in force. Solutions that, according to the president of the region, will make the taxi sector more attractive, will create up to 3,000 jobs and bill 60% more per license.
an uberization. Not all taxi drivers believe that this is the right solution and point to a precariousness of work that will allow large companies to enter what, until now, was a space with a multitude of self-employed workers and that will create insecurity for the passenger, being able to sit in a car with a tired driver.
Companies like Free Now have been in favor of some of these regulations. “You get a taxi license to obtain profitability and they limit what days and what hours you can work. People, of course, have to have a limitation of hours, but I think they must be able to manage and limit the hours and how they work by themselves”, Isabel García, its director in Spain, assured us last summer.
VTC measurements. Prices are also one of the battlefields in which Madrid politicians are fighting. From Free Now they bet on a certain flexibility in the price of the races, although they asked for ground prices for the VTC. The question is how far this flexibility will go in the prices that the VTCs take advantage of to take advantage of the big events in the city.
What has been advanced is that users will be able to share a taxi if two people have a nearby destination to then share expenses. What until now is done with friends to go home but through an application and with strangers. A kind of Blablacar of the taxi.
Two ways. The measures that the Community of Madrid will take reflect, in essence, the political decision to opt for a much more liberalized market. The opposite option to the one they have opted for in Barcelona, where the VTCs are restricted to vehicles of sizes typical of the luxury segment.
An ideological battle that is metaphorically represented in the letters of the Madrid taxi drivers but that, deep down, hides two antagonistic political models: a liberal one in which the border between VTC and taxi will begin to blur, and another protectionist one that wants to reduce the influence of VTCs in a sector that, until not long ago, was the domain of public transport.
Photo | James of the Source
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