Rome to tackle airport taxis ripping off tourists

Tweet from BBC correspondent in Rome prompts city to take action against “truly shameful” taxi situation.

Rome authorities have pledged to take action against rogue taxi drivers ripping off tourists arriving into the city’s airports, prompted by a widely-shared tweet from Mark Lowen, the BBC correspondent in Italy.

A friend visiting Lowen was asked by a taxi driver at Fiumicino airport for €70 to travel into the centre of Rome – a trip that has a fixed rate of €50 – and said his credit card machine was not working so he could only take cash.

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The city’s tourism councillor Alessandro Onorato described the incident as “unacceptable” and stressed that the city would have reported the driver to police if it had been possible to “take note of his licence number, registration plate or name”, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

“The illegality that we have found in the airport areas is truly shameful” – said the councillor – “A bleak scenario among fare hunters, illegal taxis, illegal NCCs [private chauffeurs]”.

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Onorato underlined that since the start of this year there has been an increase in police checks to combat the illegal activity of taxi drivers preying on tourists, however he has pledged further action.

Starting next Tuesday, in collaboration with Rome’s airport management company AdR, a new service aimed at helping tourists will be launched, Onorato said.

“Stewards will welcome passengers at international arrivals, providing specific directions to tourists and collaborating with the police to report irregularities”.