The good news: there will be increase of almost 5,000 more taxis on the streets of Paris.
The (kind of) bad news: you'll have to wait two more years to reach the full increase.
It seems that everyone has a Paris couldn't-get-a-taxi tale of woe to tell. The government has been trying to find a solution for a while. Finally, yesterday, an agreement was signed between the Ministry of the Interior and the FNAT (Federation National des artisans taxis), the independent taxi-drivers association.
Currently there are 15,600 taxis circulating in Paris. That equals 2.9 taxis per 1000 residents, compared with 7.2 in New York. The agreement calls for an extra 1200 cabs to hit the streets this year, and the total numbers of taxis in service by 2010 will be 20,000.
There is discussion afoot also about possibly changing taxis' rooftop lights to indicate more clearly if they are available or busy. (Red and green lights? Say it ain't so!) That particular change does not get my vote, but I won't complain as long as there are taxis when I need them.
More taxis! That's news worth hailing.