The Rome city bus company ATAC has installed a new telephone call-system for taxi ranks in the city The new system, which went into operation on 5 May at 36 of the city ranks, has a single telephone number, 199 106 601. An automatic voice replies and asks the caller to digit the number of the municipality from which he is calling, 01 from the city centre, 02 from the Salaria area, 03 from Piazza Bologna and so on. Having digited this number the caller is then offered a further selection of code numbers for the taxi ranks in the chosen municipality and should choose the closest. The cost of calling the taxi rank is 14.85 cents per minute from Monday to Friday from 08.00 -18.30 and on Saturday mornings from 08.00 -13.00, all other times of the day and night and on Sundays and holidays the cost will be 5.58 cents per minute. The 36 taxi ranks with this service will increase to 69 by the end of May.
The taxi rank telephone columns are designed to be vandal proof and from each one it is possible to make free calls to the emergency services.
The new service will doubtless be of use to Roman residents but will be of little use to people who are not familiar with the municipalities and street names, however it does not alter the six radio taxi services currently in operation in the city.