Castelli H1 1920 x 116
Castelli H1 1920 x 116
Castelli H1 1920 x 116
Acorn P H1 - 700 x 180

Why is it so hard to get a taxi in Rome?

Rome taxis make news headlines again for the wrong reasons.

Most people living or passing through Rome will be familiar with the difficulty in getting a taxi, particularly during the recent surge of tourists visiting the Italian capital.

Earlier this year the newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that in Rome a staggering 1.3 million telephone requests for taxis are unsuccessful every month.

Both the government and the city administration have taken steps to try and address the chronic shortage of taxis in the capital however they are met with resistance from the powerful taxi lobby.

Last August the rightwing coalition led by Giorgia Meloni approved new regulations, under the so-called Asset decree, to allow larger cities to increase the number of taxi licences by 20 per cent to meet rising demand.

Italy's antitrust regulator has repeatedly called for more taxis to be introduced in Rome and Milan, which have 7,692 taxis and 4,885 taxis respectively.

The last time the number of licenses was increased in Rome was in 2005 while in Milan it was 2003, according to Corriere della Sera.

In February the Italian tourism minister Daniela Santanché posted a video on social media of a lengthy queue at the taxi rank outside Termini train station in Rome, ironically describing the scene as "a nice business card for tourists arriving in the capital!!"

In March Milan published a tender for 450 new taxi licences while in April Rome's mayor Roberto Gualtieri announced that the city would have "1,000 new permanent taxi licences" before Jubilee Year 2025 when an influx of extra millions of pilgrims and tourists are expected to arrive in the capital.

Italy's taxi drivers held a strike and protest in Rome in May and called off another two-day strike planned in early June after the transport ministry agreed to discuss their opposition to sector deregulation and the granting of new taxi licenses.

The lack of taxis in the capital came to the fore again on Thursday when Rome-based Reuters correspondent Crispian Balmer wrote on X that he had given up after waiting 50 minutes for a taxi.

"Rome doesn’t deserve any tourists because it doesn’t have the courage to solve this age-old problem", Balmer wrote, adding that Rome taxi drivers "claimed, on average, to make around €12,700 gross last year - €240 a week", accompanied by a laughing emoji.

The post was shared almost 1,000 times, prompting hundreds of replies, many of which were in agreement with the journalist.

Italian actress Nancy Brilli also complained of being unable to find a taxi in Rome to take her to a reception at the British embassy on Thursday evening, writing on Instragram that she only made it to the event after asking a friend to drive her there.

Ambrit 724 x 450
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Marymount - International School Rome
Ambrit 1400 x 360