Spanish taxi drivers’ biggest trade union Fedetaxi called for a general strike, to protest against the spread of Uber and Cabify in the country. The strike will take place from 6am on the 29th of November till 6am on the 30th of November. Up to 100% of drivers might take part in the strike, although the union is promising minimum service level for hospitals and transport hubs (i.e. airports, stations, etc) and in case of emergencies.
Taxi drivers trade unions which represent around 70,000 drivers, called for a 24hr national strike as well as a huge demonstration in Madrid.
What are the options? Let’s look at the existing taxi apps and assess available alternatives.
Cabify will save our bacon because they are not taking part in the strike, it seems, but will be affected by it. The company created a dedicated page related to their service during the strike.
Cabify taxis won’t be available for pre-booking all day, but you can still try and book taxi on-demand. Also, central Madrid and central Barcelona (Plaza de España and Sants station) won’t be reachable. I guess this is due to the demonstrations and protests planned in these areas.
MyTaxi app users will be affected because the app uses only traditional taxi drivers. The app sent out the following message (unofficial translation):
Due to the strike called by the taxi sector, MyTaxi will not be able to guarantee the service tomorrow, Wednesday, November 29. Once the strike is finished, the service will return to normal. We apologize for the inconvenience that we may cause you. We remind you of the scheduled times for the strike in each of our cities:
From Wednesday 29 at 6:00h until 6:00 on Thursday 30.
From Wednesday 29 at 6:00 until 2:00 on Thursday 30.
From Wednesday 29 at 6:00 until 6:00 on Thursday 30.
From Wednesday 29 at 2:00 until 2:00 on Thursday 30.
If you need additional information, you can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 93 222 40 40.
I couldn’t find any info related to Uber service on the 29th of November, but I expect it to work just fine. At least the app is accepting bookings and not giving any warning notifications.
It looks like public transport doesn’t have any strikes planned for that day (yay!), so I recommend using old-fashioned public transport and budget in more time.
Based on my experience of previous taxi strikes, it would be almost impossible to hail the taxi via an app and difficult to grab one on the street. Public transport is your best bet, or just walk (if it’s not too far, of course).
Spanish taxi drivers keep protesting against something which was accepted in the taxi business around the world a few years ago: healthy competition. Uber and Cabify are comparable price-wise or cheaper and provide much better service and liked by all the customers. Currently, Uber is only illegal in Barcelona but perfectly accepted across the rest of Spain. Cabify provides fantastic, almost like VIP service, and cost the same. Let’s see how this will unfold.
Did you know that you can get a free credit for your first journey with some taxi-hailing apps if you use the promo codes? Read more about it: Taking taxi in Barcelona: a survival guide.