Taxi price hikes expected

THE LISBON Taxi Association has confirmed that its members will have to increase fare prices because of the rise in IVA (value added tax) to 21 per cent and higher petrol prices. The Associação Nacional dos Transportadores em Automóveis Ligeiros (ANTRAL), the national association of light vehicles, said that petrol increases had pushed up costs by seven per cent. Petrol represents around 30 per cent of the total costs of the average taxi driver. In 1998, most locations in Lisbon could be reached by taxi for around two to three euros. Today, that figure stands at four to five euros. The average cost of a taxi ride within central Lisbon is now likely to rise to between five to seven euros and more at rush hour. The government announced last week that it would have to add 2.5 cents per litre of petrol in 2006.