Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Call me a taxi ...

Ok, you're a taxi...

One of the nice things about Barcelona is that not everything is reduced to a market transaction where every last euro is dragged out of you for the service is provided. But sometimes you do miss the invisble hand of the market to match supply and demand.

Taxis are a clear example. Very cheap all the time with just a small night premium. Result - a huge glut in the day and a huge drought at 3am when all good party goers want to head home.

La Vanguardia had a big piece on it this week which charted the imblance. 5pm on a weekday, 7,000 cabs cruise the street while just 3,000 are looking for one. Come 2am Saturday, it's still the same number hunting a cab but they are chasing a total of 900 still plying for fares.

Usual shtick from the drivers - unsocial hours, not enough money, rowdy passengers (although little angels compared with England - you never need marshals to police a late night taxi queue here). The obvious answer is hike the night rates by 50 per cent and the streets will be flooded with them.

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