A Steep Increase in Florence Taxi Fares
Increased rates for taxi rides in Florence went into effect, a measure aimed to reflect post-COVID resurgences in tourism and taxi demand, as well as the cost of living on January 1, 2024. Previously unchanged since 2018, an immediate hike of 10% has been applied to current fares, while another 6% increase will be effective in June, totalling a 16% upswing. Tip for the driver is still included.
Certain fares are subject to even higher increases, such as fixed rate routes. According to Repubblica Firenze, the price for a taxi from the city center to the Florence Airport will change from €22 to €28 a climb of 27%. A nighttime taxi ride on the same route will eclipse 30%. The goal of the taxi fleet is to capitalize on crowds in the city not seen since before COVID. The sudden and sharp increase in fares stems from the lull in business during the pandemic, which kept streets quiet. More foot traffic translated into a sharp rise in demand for taxis.
More taxis cannot be put on the street, at least not immediately. So, to work around this, an alternative is being introduced to increase the shift of a taxi from 12 to 14 hours, giving cars more time to work. The shift will be split between two drivers, so that while a driver may end their shift, the car will remain on the street.
“It will be like having 100 extra taxis providing serice,” says Giovanni Bettarini, City Councilor for Productive Activities. “We are the first in Italy to take advantage of this option, provided for by a government decree, which allows us to make more use of the existing cars, obtaining the same effect as an increase in taxis.”
A lack of taxis has been the subject of complaint in the past, especially at night during busy hours. The long shift, which will soon begin trial runs, is intended to address this problem and make access to a taxi much easier.
The reaction to the fares remains to be seen, though the announcement will likely be met with dissatisfaction. Nonetheless, the changes are important to be aware of for future travel plans in and around the city. (Colin Healy)
To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica website.