The Ministry of Transport has announced it will implement a new system which is set to regulate the fares of taxis at airports and bus terminals and established a fixed, non-negotiable price, before the customer even steps foot into the taxi.
This initiative comes after many years of natives and tourists being overcharged by taxis as the service remained unregulated. I think at this point most of us know someone who was forced to pay the equivalent of US $100, or even more, for a ride from Ezeiza airport to downtown Buenos Aires (or that someone is us).
The system will involve digital panels around the taxi ranks at airports, ports and bus terminals where the customer will enter their personal information, including their destination and the number of bags they carry. The system will then process the information, calculate the time of the journey, and print out a receipt with a fixed price for the customer to take to the taxi.
In a resolution published today in the Official Gazette, the Ministry indicated that “we understand that more and more passengers are traveling by plane in Argentina, with very cheap tickets, like what happens in the long distance buses,” and therefore “it is necessary that we strengthen controls on taxis at mass passenger and tourist transit points, so that they can expect more predictability when it comes to using taxi services.”
The time factor of the billing system will play a major factor in the modernization of the taxi fares, as taxi drivers have been known to change the time on their dashboard meters to the, more expensive, later hours in order to increase the fee they receive from customers.
Between the hours of 6am until 10pm, the system will calculate a suitable fee depending on the data you have input, as well as the time of the day. Between the hours of 10pm until 6am, the system will calculate your fee on the data input and then add an additional 20 percent to the fare in order to register the later hours.
Each customer will be permitted one piece of hand-luggage (handbag, backpack etc.) and one piece of luggage for free given that it does not exceed the dimensions: 0.9m x 0.4m x 0.3m. If the customer has any more luggage, they will be charged five additional “increments” in their basic fee (AR $3.85 per increment), this will essentially result in extra pieces of luggage costing an extra AR $19.25.
The new initiative will be set to be up and running in the by June 2019 and is definitely set to substantially reduce the number of passengers who end up paying a sizable portion of their plane ticket on a 45-minute-long taxi ride.