Buenos Aires Times

argentina TENSION WITH TAXIS

Taxi drivers clash with police at Aeroparque over hike to fares

Taxi drivers argue new calculations to fares originating at airports, ports or the Retiro bus station will undercut their income.

Thursday 16 May, 2019
Taxi-drivers gather in front of PSA agents at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport in the capital on Thursday, May 16, 2019.
Taxi-drivers gather in front of PSA agents at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport in the capital on Thursday, May 16, 2019. Foto:Télam/Victoria Egurza

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Taxi drivers protested outside Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires on Thursday, where they were met by a heavy police presence.

Airport Police Security (PSA) officers handed out fines to protesting drivers, who gathered to bemoan the latest regulated hikes to base rate fares for journeys originating from national ports and airports, as well as the Retiro bus station in Buenos Aires.

The protest was a tense affair, as protesters and PSA agents exchanged strong words and even engaged in some pushing and shoving, when a tow-truck was called in to remove one of the driver's vehicle.

"They just gave me a parking ticket for blocking this [taxi] stop. This is a provocation and it betrays the promise of one of their (in reference to the PSA) bosses to us", one of the drivers told the Todo Noticias news network.

Drivers opposed the recent fare hike, which the Transport Secretariat says is aimed at decongesting certain areas of the city, particularly where taxis remain idle waiting for passengers.

Fares could jump 18 to 19 percent for idle taxis, according to the regulation.

It were taxi drivers' unions themselves which originally called for the measure, arguing fixed fares in idle times, including in heavy traffic, were undercutting their income.

However, they argue the new calculations have been poorly devised and will result in even fewer pesos being left over for them on trips originating at airports, ports or the bus station.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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