Barcelona (ACN). - The Metropolitan Taxi Institute (IMET) will apply from next year a flat rate for trips from or to Barcelona El Prat Airport by taxis belonging to Barcelona and its metropolitan area. The flat price will eliminate baggage supplements and will be applied from anywhere in the city centre. In an interview with CNA Eduard Freixedes, president of IMET also explained that the organisation has commissioned a study to assess the right price, which could be set at €15.
Beyond searching for “short term” measures to adapt the taxi sector to a drop of about 40% in demand because of the crisis, the IMET, along with the taxi organisations, are working to get back into the market. One of the leading measures to be launched next year consists of setting a flat rate for travelling between the city of Barcelona and the airport, as in the case of New York City.
As well as being a request from the sector itself, the IMET is absolutely certain that this measure will attract new customers. At the same time, it will fight against “the serious problem of credibility” that the taxi sector suffers among tourists alerted by social networks about abusive prices, so declining the taxi option, says Freixedes.
An attractive price and similar to the average ride
“When we find the magic price”, says the president of the IMET, “we are convinced that we will have the support of the whole sector”. And he adds “the question is about finding a price that fits the average ride, making it profitable for the taxi driver and, at the same time, attractive for the customer. We must have a very clear fare to demand back and so everyone will benefit. If we put a high price, nobody will take a taxi, and if it gets too low, it cannot be profitable for the taxi driver and he will decide not to work at the airport”, explains Freixedes.
The price is not decided so far, but they are working on their calculations. The IMET has commissioned the Centre for Innovation in Transport (CENIT) belonging to the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, to make a report to assess the price.
Currently, a journey from downtown Barcelona to El Prat airport is a minimum €20 fee excluding baggage supplements, while the Aerobus fare is €5 all inclusive per person. In this sense, the IMET argues that the price has to be “attractive” for the customer, so they will be able to see that if they are a group of more than 2 or 3 people the trip is cheaper by taxi. It seems that the price will be set at €15.
Freixedes assures that the measure will be applied in January next year, when new taxi rates for 2013 are approved. At that time they aim to launch a marketing campaign, with posters at the airport where tourists can be informed in a clear and simple way about the new taxi fare. This will let them fight against the negative and misleading information that is currently on the Internet.