Uniforms and bank cards
All the taxis in Palma, about 700 of them, are ultimately under the control of the city council which decides how many licenses are required and issues them to drivers who have passed stringent tests. The council's mobility department have now come up with some new proposals to smarten up what is in effect a public service.
Like Calvia last month, they want the taxi drivers to start wearing uniforms to identify them as official taxis in contrast to the many 'pirate' taxis which operate illegally, particularly at the airport. At present the only stipulation for drivers is that they wear long trousers and 'closed' shoes in both summer and winter.
The new summer uniform would consist of chino shorts, a dark blue short-sleeved shirt or polo shirt and a pair of deck or boat shoes, which sounds just about the right combination of smart casual to project a good image to the public. Astonishingly, the drivers themselves, who have a reputation for moaning about everything – Uber, Cabify, airport buses, night buses etc etc etc – are not whingeing about this!
Even better news is that the council also wants to equip every taxi with a method of taking bank cards in payment of the fare. Currently only the taxis which work the airport – also under the jurisdiction of Palma town hall – have to have this facility. I think this is a real step forward and a welcome advance in this day and age where fewer and fewer of us carry lots of cash around.
Both of the proposals will be subject to a vote later this month and I know that if I were a taxista i'd want a smart corporate image and the less cash I had to carry, the better.