What about the customers!
I watched with some amusement and disbelief the very biased TV coverage throughout the whole day.
The Portuguese Taxi driver protest over UBER was big news.
The blockade of the airports was watched over by “Rambo lookalike police officers” dressed for world war 3 who just stood and watched.
The policing cost must have been enormous for an activity so ineffectual as many passengers were stressed and inconvenienced while going too and from the airports.
Having been a victim “customer” of many a rip off taxi driver operating out of Faro, Lisbon and Porto airports I had absolutely NO sympathy for the taxi drivers cause.
The drivers are often rude to passengers, cut other road users up in the traffic.
They regularly drive above the speed limit especially at night.
The quality of driving is often frightening especially at night or for visitors just arriving in Portugal.
The cars are very often in a badly maintained state.
The taxi drivers were moaning that UBER drivers don’t pay tax and yet if you know any taxi drivers in Portugal. They often have a business in their wives name funded by who knows what.
By coincidence I had earlier taken an UBER taxi and a normal taxi in the UK the previous week.
UBER – I was able to choose which car and driver I wanted.
The pick-up was on time.
Communication was excellent.
The driver pleasant and helpful.
The car was in good condition.
He drove safely.
He took me to exactly where I wanted to go without “detours”
Overall a 10/10 experience
This experience was followed by a taxi hailed in the street.
Took me into long road closure diversions even though they were clearly signposted.
Asked for a fare which was 30% more than my previous journey with Uber.
Overall a 6/10 experience
The current taxi system in Portugal is inevitably doomed because customers will decide what they want to pay for not the government. The traditional taxi driver is the equivalent of the “last buggy whip maker in town”. The brighter ones will realize that and stop inconveniencing and ripping off the people who pay them.
Having said all of the above and it galls me to say this – Portugal is the only country in the world where a taxi driver has offered to take me somewhere for free!!!! AND it has happened twice.