Thursday, May 29, 2008


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.


David in Setouchi said...

2.9 taxi per resident?
I guess you messed your count up somehow... (or I don't understand the stat)...

And yeah, I'll be sad the day the lights on the roofs of taxis become more clear, that means tourists will stop waving for taxis that are already taken and then they're confused about why no taxi will stop for them...
That's usually a great way to make fun of tourists when you're in a bad mood or instead meet people if they look nice: "excuse me, but I think you need my help, let me explain how taxi lights work in Paris"

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Oops -- yes, I meant to write 2.9 taxis per 1000 residents. Thanks for catching that. I will edit blog.

I liked having the learning curve of figuring out the taxi availability lights. Now it makes me feel like an insider.

Starman said...

There are at least a million problems with the lights on top of taxis, but first and foremost is the fact that color blind people cannot see whether the light is green or red. If the powers that be were really interested in improving the situation they ould make the system so simple even I could understand it. First there should only be ONE light. If the light is on, the taxi is taken, off it's available. Of course, just because a yaxi in Paris is not taken does not mean it's available. It all depends on the mood of the driver.

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