Thanks to a new city proposal to ease traffic congestion and cut down on rush hour chaos, cabbies and bus drivers are at war in Buenos Aires.
Bus drivers favor the new measure, which would create dedicated right-hand lanes for buses and occupied taxis.
However, the statute would require unoccupied taxis to drive in designated lanes on the left, a condition that many cab drivers – and their umbrella organizations – vehemently oppose.
It will be more difficult to pick up passengers on the left, taxistas claim, and their business will suffer.
In a passionate demonstration of their displeasure with the proposal, the Sindicato de Peones de Taxis organized a traffic-stopping parade of a 1,000 cabs that ended at the mayor’s office – and generated madness on BA’s streets.
After this June protest, mayor Mauricio Macri invited taxistas to the table to discuss the new traffic measures. They have yet to reach an agreement.
On August 29, Luis Fernández, president of the Asociación de Taxistas de la Capital, told the Clarin newspaper: “We won’t accept limitations. We aren’t the cause of traffic chaos.”
Despite continued opposition from the taxi sector, the mayor will begin implementing the new traffic measures within 3 weeks.
Meanwhile, Buenos Aires is holding its breath in anticipation of another massive cabbie protest. We’ll see what this week’s taxi adventure holds…