The taxi rank in Puerto Banús / josele

Marbella’s taxis end the year on a 'positive' note with business 'practically back to normal'

The drivers have said that this year’s peak summer season lasted longer than normal with lots of customers in September and October

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS MARBELLA.

As 2022 draws to an end, Marbella’s taxi drivers have described the year as "positive". David Piquer, from Taxisol and Javier Ruiz, from Taxi Marbella Mercedes, explained that it "started off a little weak because there still weren't many tourists".

However, they went on to say that during the summer business picked up and that things were “practically back to normal". There were even queues at empty taxi ranks, which Ruiz blames on traffic problems and not on the need for more licenced vehicles: "There were times when there was a lot of traffic and for that reason queues formed at the ranks, but as soon as the traffic started to clear, the ranks were immediately full of waiting taxis".

In general, "it has been a good year in spite of the unfair competition we have", says Piquer, adding, “We returned to pre-pandemic turnover during the high season.” A season that has lasted longer for the hotel town’s industry: "We have noticed this. We had some pretty good months in September and October, with a lot of tourists. It has been very hot and the rains have come late. That has kept people coming to Marbella," they said.

Private hire vehicles

There are currently 340 licenced taxis in the town, including adapted vehicles, "for which there has been a lot of demand", Piquer and Ruiz said. They feel that there is the right amount of taxis in Marbella, but recognise that in summer demand is always high.

They are critical of the number of private hire vehicles (VTC) that operate in the town, particularly in summer and point out that they are not as heavily controlled as licenced taxis. “If they were to have half the regulation that we have, it would be enough", they said.

The taxi drivers added that the Local Police “are controlling” the situation, but that in their opinions, the measures taken against these vehicles are not enough. “It is complicated enough for a council to have to regulate the mobility of its population without having any control over the 2,000 or 3,000 extra vehicles that may come to work in summer," they concluded.