Paphos taxi drivers are again bringing the island of Cyprus into disrepute with their hiked up prices.
Now the new Ryanair flights have started to arrive so have the complaints! In some instances a short journey of around 15 minutes (or 8 minutes by taxi) into Paphos tourist area has cost holidaymakers more than the price of their flight!
Passengers complain of being charged €50 for a taxi from the airport into Paphos when they were previously advised by friends it should cost approximately €30.
Price regulators indicate it should be no more than €25 in a small taxi with luggage :-(
However, the increasing problem with Paphos taxi drivers is that neither the Government regulatory bodies nor the Airport authorities will stand up to them and monitor the situation. I’ve given up on the amount of times the taxi drivers have been told they must have a pricing structure on display and once the board has been erected, they’ve torn it down…
They complain about other drivers or illegal taxis coming to pick up passengers. Some of these drivers are Cyprus residents collecting their friends and family yet they constantly get hassled and threatened by the taxi drivers.
It’s really no wonder why Cyprus hotels are complaining their rooms are sadly lacking in guests!
Yes, there are some rogue (illegal) taxis that visit the airport and the registered taxi drivers most likely know who they are as they will see their cars and faces on a regular basis.
My suggestion? Well I have more than one:
Policing the airport properly to ensure taxi drivers are indeed registered.
Only registered taxis are allowed into the waiting area with private taxis (advanced bookings, tour operator taxis etc being in a different location).
Put a proper taxi queuing system in place to help resolve this issue.
Have a sentry type box where passengers go to arrange a regulated/official taxi. Taxi drivers queue (yes I know, the “queue” word is mostly unknown in Cyprus) in line waiting for the next fare and the sentries monitor the taxi queue ensuring a smooth flow.
Fixed prices by destination and time of day/night are paid in advance to the sentry box officials who pay the drivers as the taxi leaves the checkpoint. This way all prices can be checked by the passengers with the sentry officials before reaching the taxi and all destinations are monitored as well as the taxi plate number. If at the end of the journey the passengers want to give the driver a tip – well that’s fine for the driver! And, if there’s a complaint about the driver the plate number will already have been logged as a backup.
Alternatively, ban taxi pick ups completely from the airport. Let them bring passengers in but don’t allow them to make a fare pickup until they demonstrate they can abide by the fare rules.
The Good News is that more bus services may be on the cards for Paphos airport customers! Which of course, means more Bad News for the taxi drivers…..
Check out my twitter link to the main article by Bejay Browne in the Cyprus-Mail.