Tempers are raised in Adeje over taxi licences, and sometimes they boil over. The above video is doing the social media and press rounds showing a bare-fisted fight between two taxi drivers outside the Costa Adeje Aquapark, a street brawl apparently over a fare to the airport. Adeje has a problem with “intrusismo”, and the form in which we know it best is that of illegal airport runs. There is a further problem, though.
Taxi associations have long complained about the exorbitant price of licences. €300,000 has been quoted, a sum way beyond the purse of most taxistas, and so consortiums of drivers are not uncommon, where a few drivers share a car. There are also companies, however, which buy up taxi licences and then employ inexperienced drivers – on slave rates, it’s said – to drive them. The scope for aggressive competition in a field where illegal airport runs are an added irritant is very clear.
What is even clearer is that the municipality does not need this sort of publicity, with taxi drivers brawling in the street outside a tourist venue. It won’t matter, or even occur, to most visitors that there might be a competition or financial problem with taxi drivers – to most of them, the biggest problem is whether they’re going to be overcharged, something that’s more likely, it seems logical, with a company-owned taxi driven by an “employee” rather than a driver-owner with a reputation to protect.
Adeje has just, we hope, finally sorted out its problem with “scooters”. Maybe it’s time now to turn to the problem of taxi competition and the licences that are awarded … and their cost.