Can these taxi drivers be tamed?
Find out in A Taxi Odyssey, the hilarious and insightful story about the infamous, independent, colorful and charming taxi drivers of Athens, Greece as they attend government mandated behavioral seminars to learn better manners. In their cabs, we visit modern Athens on the eve of the 2004 Olympics; experience the struggle to survive in the time of the Euro, feel the growing pains of a country changed forever by globalization, and follow these taxi drivers during charm school in this feature-length documentary which magically captures life in Greece through their eyes and their resilience in the face of change. Read more...
CHARM SCHOOL UPDATE!
It's true... government-mandated "charm school" finally happened for the taxi drivers of Athens (more info), and director Alexia Haidos was there to capture their adventures in these behavioral seminars! Take a look at our new trailer and watch our drivers in class (see video).
Cab Strike Ushers in New Protests!
From the September 7, 2011 edition of Greek Reporter...
The first to pick up the fight again were taxi drivers and owners (approximately 30,000 people) who, opposing the de-regularisation of their profession, called a 24 hour strike following the one that lasted almost two weeks that was carried out last month. " Source
Striking Taxi Drivers Hold New Protest in Greece!
From the August 2, 2011 edition of Bloomberg Businessweek...
Taxi drivers have been on indefinite strike for more than two weeks to protest new licensing laws that they say will lead to a glut of new taxis on the streets and cut deep into their earnings." Source
Cost of Taxis to Increase!
From the July 1, 2010 edition of Kathimerini (Athen's daily newspaper)...
The change in value-added tax, which will apply as of today, means that the cost of road tolls and cab fares will increase. Taxi charges will include 11 percent VAT, meaning that the flag charge will now rise to 1.16 euros, while the minimum fare will be 3.10 euros. Calling a radio cab will cost 1.88 euros. As of today, cabbies will also have to issue receipts to all their clients. The VAT rise will also see toll charges on the Attiki Odos ring road rise from 2.70 euros to 2.80 for cars. There will be similar rises of between 5 and 10 cents at tolls on national roads." Source
Cabbies Set For 48-Hour Strike
From the Feb. 24, 2010 edition of Kathimerini...
"Taxi drivers are expected to go on strike again next week but this time they will stage a 48-hour stoppage on Tuesday and Wednesday, it emerged yesterday. Their union is opposed to government plans to make cabbies issue receipts, keep account books and pay tax according to their income. Under the current system, drivers pay just over 1,200 euros in tax each year, regardless of what they earn. Cabbies have already staged two 24-hour strikes this month and say they will keep protesting until the government changes its mind." Source
Cabbies Irked at Fee Freeze Plan!
From the Nov. 3, 2009 edition of Kathimerini...
"Plans by the Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Ministry to prevent taxi drivers from proceeding with the third in a series of incremental increases in their charges, due to come into force in May, has provoked the ire of cabbies in Athens and elsewhere. 'Let anyone who wants to just dare to revoke the third increase,' the president of the Association of Attica Taxi Drivers (SATA), Efythimios Lymberopoulos, told Kathimerini, stressing that his union's members would resort to strike action to secure the right to raise their fees..." Source
Taxi Fare Charges Go Up Per Kilometer
From the Oct. 27, 2009 edition of Kathimerini...
"Taxi charges are to increase from Sunday with the fare charged per kilometer rising to 0.60 euros from 0.48 euros. Another hike is due in May 2010 when the rate will reach 0.72 euros per kilometer. From Sunday, the fare after midnight will rise from 0.84 euros to 1.05 euros. These incremental increases followed a gentleman's agreement reached in April between unionists representing taxi drivers and then Transport Minister Evripidis Stylianidis." Source
Cabbies Wait for Green Light to Enter Bus Lanes
From the April 25, 2009 edition of Kathimerini...
"There is confusion about whether taxi drivers will be able to legally drive in bus lanes as of next Friday because the necessary paperwork has not been signed despite an agreement between the cabbies and the government earlier this month." Source
Taxis Hike Fares for "Better Service"
From the April 7, 2009 edition of Kathimerini...
"Talks between unionists representing taxi drivers and Transport Minister Evripidis Stylianidis have produced a "gentleman's agreement" that will allow cabbies to gradually increase their fares by 100 percent over the next year in exchange for improved service to customers..." Source
Taxi Complaint Line Now Open!
From the Dec. 5, 2008 edition of Kathimerini...
"Would-be taxi fares fed up with getting the cold shoulder from cabbies who refuse to take them to their destination can now report them to a new telephone complaints center by dialing 1019." Source
Greek Taxi Drivers to Lose Licenses?
From the Sept. 15, 2008 edition of Kathimerini...
"Taxi drivers will face fines of up to 1,800 euros for refusing to pick up customers and for overcharging, according to new reforms to be voted through Parliament this week and to come into effect in November..." Source
Taxi Fines? Athenian Cabbies in the News
From the June 5, 2008 edition of Kathimerini ...
"Rude and uncooperative taxi drivers were fined a total of over 1.6 million euros by the Athens prefecture between October 2006 and February this year. The prefectural disciplinary committee imposed amounts ranging from 10 to 2,000 euros for violations such as overcharging customers, refusing to take passengers, doubling up fares, refusing to go to specific destinations and rude behavior." Source