barcelona metropolitan area

Barcelona taxi drivers end their protest after reaching an agreement to eliminate the new shifts

January 9, 2013 11:58 PM | CNA

After two days of protests making Barcelona El Prat Airport being without cabs for several hours, taxi union representatives and the Metropolitan Taxi Institute – in charge of managing the sector – have agreed to eliminate the shift system and find another way to reduce the number of taxis on the streets. Taxi drivers have stopped all their protests and they will be using the previous system establishing two days of rest per week. The shift system had been implemented to better pair the availability of taxis to the real demand, which has decreased because of the recession. The system had been approved by Barcelona taxi drivers in a binding referendum. However, one week after its implementation, some of them protested stating that it had reduced their turnover.

A strike leaves Barcelona El Prat Airport temporarily without taxis

January 7, 2013 11:52 PM | CNA

Taxi drivers have protested against the new car shifts implemented as of last week. The new shift system affects all Barcelona taxis and it has been designed to reduce the number of cars on the streets in order to increase drivers’ profits by reducing the available taxis at a given time. However, some taxi drivers think the new shifts cause their turnover to drop. For this reason they have decided to protest by not serving Barcelona El Prat Airport or Barcelona Sants Station with cabs on Monday afternoon. The Metropolitan Taxi Institute, in charge of managing the sector, has already announced “talks” with taxi union representatives to “evaluate” the new system.

The Catalan Government privatises Greater Barcelona’s water supply to reduce the public deficit

November 6, 2012 11:33 PM | CNA

The Catalan Government awarded Acciona’s joint venture the contract to manage Aigües Ter Llobregat (ATLL), the public company supplying drinkable water to an area of 5 million people. Acciona, a Brazilian investment bank, and other companies will pay €300 million in 2012 and €700 million within the next 50 years to run the concession. Privatising ATLL was a measure announced months ago, as part of the Catalan Government’s austerity plan to reduce its deficit in order to meet the imposed deficit targets. According to the press release, Acciona’s joint venture has been awarded the 50 year contract because “it offers a better price for the water” than the rival group of companies lead by the Catalan Agbar.

Renfe to continue operating Catalonia’s short-distance and regional trains in 2011

December 14, 2010 11:14 PM | CNA

The Catalan Government approved the continued operation of short distance trains in the Barcelona metropolitan area and regional trains within Catalonia by the public Spanish train operator Renfe. Short-distance trains have been a responsibility of the Catalan Government since the 1st of January of 2010. Regional trains will be transferred on the first day of 2011. The train service ownership will thus change, but the service provider will continue being Renfe.