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Rome taxi crisis: 1.3 million calls a month unanswered

Taxi licences not increased in Rome or Milan for two decades.

Italian cities including Rome and Milan are still suffering from a chronic shortage of taxis despite efforts by the government to alleviate the problem last summer.

In Rome some 1.3 million telephone requests for taxis are unsuccessful each month, reports Corriere della Sera, while in Milan that number is around half a million a month.

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

However the move has been fiercely opposed by taxi drivers, a powerful lobby in Italy, who regularly threaten to strike in protest at any attempt to enact new measures.

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

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.

Italian tourism minister Daniela Santanché recently posted a viral video on social media showing a lengthy queue for taxis at Rome's Termini station, describing the scene as "a nice business card for tourists arriving in the capital!!"

The government's efforts to increase the number of taxis comes amid a surge of tourism in Italy and ahead of major upcoming events including the Vatican's Jubilee 2025 in Rome and the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics in 2026.

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