Taxi drivers protest unlicensed transfers
Several hundred taxi drivers from eight associations around the island of Gran Canaria staged a protest to demand the Cabildo de Gran Canaria put an end to the intrusion of unlicensed operators doing airport runs which they claim is causing them serious economic damage.
Jose Santana Ramirez, secretary of the Trade Union Association of Ingenio, explained to the press while the protest took place, in Calle Tomás Morales in Gran Canaria ‘s capital, that there is “a failure in the monitoring and inspection of organisations,” work that should be done by the Cabildo, “which has allowed, among others, minibuses dedicated to the exclusive transport of aircrews, or offering trips to the centre of the island, to work as taxis offering [transfers] to tourists, picking up passengers and making transfers though they are not authorized.”
This practice extends to “vehicles supplied with driver” vehículos de autoturismo con conductor, known as VTC, adds the president of Elite Taxi Canarias , José Fleitas, with almost a hundred licenses “supplanting the work of taxis thanks to the commissions, which they offer to guides and hotel establishments.”
Island transport councilor, Juan Francisco Trujillo, denied the accusations of “negligence in the work of inspection.” He explained that his department have assigned a team of six people for these tasks, added to which are the agreements that it maintains with the local police of Ingenio, Telde, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Mogán, as well as a specific inspection plan for the Gran Canaria Airport. As a result of this program, “a total of 2,600 transport cases were processed in 2016”, a figure that covers the sector as a whole, including everything from hazardous materials to passenger transport. In addition to this, he added, “150 company inspections have been carried out, and 25 annual road checkpoints, almost two per month with the collaboration of the Guardia Civil. ”