Taxi drivers in Madrid retaliate against Uber and Cabify with lower rates and sleek uniforms

Silvia Castro Betancourt

February 14, 2018

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Despite the fact that the users of the taxi in Madrid value the joint service at an average score of 7.5 points – mainly, in aspects such as the driver’s knowledge of the city and waiting times – the sector does not seem to be satisfied and seeks to improve its competitiveness at a critical time due to the strong emergence of rental vehicles with driver (VTC), which work with platforms such as Uber and Cabify.

This was stated yesterday by the president of the Professional Taxi Federation of Madrid (FPTM), Julio Sanz, after presenting a study that analyzes the conditions of taxi service in the Community of Madrid. Questioned by the only “weak point” marked by the users – the one of the tariffs, which they consider excessive – he justified that the price is set by the Administration and added that they have already made proposals for “a change in the tariff structure”.

Among the measures proposed, it also exposed the possibility of “implanting an aesthetic uniformity” among the drivers and increasing the ecological fleet until reaching 100% in “only five years”. The implementation of a social bonus for the elderly or disabled, a mobile “app” that allows comparing routes, customer service courses or improving the level of English are other proposed improvement proposals.

The study, prepared by the City of Madrid, in collaboration with Vectio, between March and April to make an x-ray of the situation of the sector with 1,078 surveys conducted at the airport and different stations in the city. The document analyzes the citizen’s perception regarding the ease of getting a day taxi (8 out of 10 points), to do it at night (6.5), and to take it during the week (7.5) and on weekends (6.5). Likewise, the condition of the vehicle (7.5), the air conditioning (8), the waiting time (8), the treatment and image of the driver (8) and the knowledge of the city (9) have been assessed.

In relation to competition disputes and trade with VTC licenses, Sanz insisted that “they are not a public service like the taxi is” and pointed out that, from the Taxi Federation, they have hired a law firm “to take out forward many complaints on all levels”.

For his part, the general director of Traffic Management and Monitoring of the City of Madrid, Francisco José López Carmona, said that the taxi sector “has to continue its modernization process” and stressed that they will have the support of the Administration so that have “their relocation in the new mobility of the city”.

After the press conference the Association Auto Taxi Association sent a statement accusing the City Council of “seeking to sow discord” in the sector for not having been invited to this presentation, but without call the Consistory but the Professional Federation of the Madrid Taxi (FPTM).

The above article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English. Click here to read the original article.

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Acerca de Lucas Vargas:

  • Empezó en Grupo ZAP como el VP de Sales y en 2016 cuando la empresa tenía 60 empleados. Fue nombrado COO de VivaReal tomando el mando de Brian Requarth el Co-Fundador. VivaReal lanzó en Colombia y se trasladó a Brasil. En 2017 se hizo CEO del Grupo ZAP.
  • Ha trabajado en Mexico en PWC y en el Banco Santander
  • Tiene un Master de Business Administration de Harvard
  • En noviembre este año después de la fusión de OLX Brasil y Grupo ZAP fue nombrado el CEO del OLX Business Unit. Lidera la empresa junto con Andries Oudshoorn y Marcos Leite
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.