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Taxi drivers blockade Stockholm airport

Taxi drivers blockade Stockholm airport

Published: 25 Mar 2010 11:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Mar 2010 11:15 GMT+01:00

Independent taxi drivers have blocked road routes in and out of Stockholm's main Arlanda airport in protest against new taxi system regulations introduced by the Civil Aviation Authority (Luftfartsverket - LFV).

No cars or buses are able to get into or depart from the airport terminals which is the main hub for the Stockholm region.

"There remains a problem on road routes - all of the taxi ranks and routes into the terminals remain blocked," Anders Bredfell, press spokesperson at Arlanda Airport, told The Local at 11.30am on Thursday.

Arlanda has classified the protest as illegal and has thus handed over the matter to the police.

"As Arlanda Airport is a protected area this is an illegal, criminal activity and our regulations stipulate that it is thus a police matter," Bredfell said.

Bredfell told The Local that it is still possible to access most of the airport by car and bus, and said that train services were running as normal.

"It is mostly affecting those wanting to leave the airport. But for all concerned I would recommend that you allow extra time," he said.

The Swedish Competition Authority (Konkurrensverket) ruled on March 17th not to investigate a complaint from independent taxi drivers over the new queue system scheduled for introduction by LFV on Tuesday.

The conflict between the taxi firms and LFV is part of a long running dispute.

The Competition Authority ruled on October 23rd 2009 that LFV should hold off on plans to change the taxi rank system at the airport. LFV then returned with a revised plan which has now been deemed acceptable by the Authority but has incurred the wrath of independent drivers who allege that the major firms are being favouritised.

The new plan divides the taxi firms into seven queues with Stockholm Transfer and Airport Cab, Taxi Kurir, Taxi 020 and Norrbilar all being given a queue each, with Taxi Stockholm getting two. All the remaining independent taxi drivers are assigned to the seventh line.

"While we are not in any participating in the blockade, we have a certain degree of understanding for the protesters - it is their livelihood that is at stake," Michael Chalkiadakis at Stockholm Transfer told The Local on Thursday.

Stockholm Transfer argues that it is LFV which has not accepted the decision by the competition authority, has appealed a market court decision, and is now awaiting that appeal.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:52 March 25, 2010 by deaninsweden
There are better ways to get the message across. Blocking access to the customers using Arlanda is just unfair on the general public.

I sympathise with the drivers but they are only going to alienate customers by stopping people accessing the airport. Flying is part of our daily lives and this is just causing personal disruption.
12:54 March 25, 2010 by Craptastical
The queueing system they came up with seems fair enough. After all, it is the smaller companies who regularly screw over people (especially tourists) trying to take a cab both to and from the airport.

The only way I would ever take a cab from the airport from one of the smaller companies is if they were required to participate in a system based on customer complaints. If valid complaints are made over hiked fares and overcharging then they lose their permit to operate at all in Arlanda (both pick up and drop off). May as well slap that requirement on all of the companies and then just have a giant mixed first-in first-out queue.
13:01 March 25, 2010 by Balticcrosser
I agree with Craptastical. The independent taxi drivers and the small companies sometime charge double the fares of the large companies, or even more.

They are also frequently entirely clueless when it comes to locating even very central addresses in Stockholm.

I'm embarrassed to be a Stockholmer when many tourists' first impression of the city is being ripped off by a taxi driver who doesn't know where he's going. Good on Arlanda for trying to do something about it.
13:09 March 25, 2010 by Twiceshy
100 kr for a 3 minutes trip is not good enough for them?
13:38 March 25, 2010 by becks41
The Swedish government needs to change the laws governing taxi's in general, its absolutely ridiculous that these independent taxis are even allowed to operate given how often they completely rip off their customers.

I've taken one of these independent taxis before and he had no idea where he was going, when I realized he was going the wrong direction I told him, yet he continued driving. Finally I got him to pull over when I opened the door of the moving vehicle, I then called the police but they refused to do anything. When I tried to approach another taxi he physically attacked me. Thank fully there was a taxi Stockholm around to help.

I have no sympathy for these independent guys, they shouldn't be allowed to operate in the first place. I've heard stories where people are charged 495 euros for a trip from the airport into downtown Stockholm. They should be arrested and jailed for fraud!
13:40 March 25, 2010 by saar
The independent taxi drivers know that no one is going to take them unless there are no other taxis. They have no one to blame for it but themselves.
13:55 March 25, 2010 by Localer
I know who they are, and you know where majority of them coming from !!.

Last year 2 of my friends came from Tokyo to visit me and unfortunately, they were in one of those taxi......since my friends are first time in Sweden, speak not much English and unfamiliar with the kronor and only carried Euro, the taxi driver demanded 490 EUR instead of Kronor !!!!!!

When I met them in the station, first word from them were.....oh my God, Sweden is REALLY EXPENSIVE !!!!

Since then I really hate those people !
14:01 March 25, 2010 by Graeme.H
Regulate the licensing and put up huge fines for "BLACK" operators who don't pay tax and give Swedens tourism factor such a bad name.

Can't have a a TV without a license without getting fined, but operate a company designed to not pay taxes run on black money and rip off unsuspecting people....sure you can, welcome to Sweden!
14:23 March 25, 2010 by Essingen
I can't understand why the police haven't got trailers in and removed all the taxis.
14:35 March 25, 2010 by skatsouf
global law: taxi drivers suck
15:41 March 25, 2010 by flintis
Swedish taxis drivers ????
15:53 March 25, 2010 by rdx
all taxi drivers try to rip the tourist.........my brother came visiting us and poor him..........was asked to shell out 60 euros instead of the regular 495 SEK by the driver.........luckily it was outside our house so we intervened else he would have been cheated big time.................all taxi drivers suck big time
16:08 March 25, 2010 by Newyork-Växjö
@localer

he always comes with a fake home-made stories against immigrants. No stupid would pay 450 EURO and it is almost equal to thier airticket and i am sure Japanese are not so stupid and not spending money like that.

a guest coming to your home door.. you did not go to pick them or guide them..

lastime he made a fake cliam that his credit card were stolen by iraqi families and police could not anything about it. and he failed to provide us his paper so we can trust his claims against refugees.

I dont want anybody to block the road everything can be solved on the table and discussion ... it is against the law to block the road for other travels .

We hope they solve their problems on the table than to bother others.
16:27 March 25, 2010 by Nuname
Ah ah ah ah Staying alive, staying alive...

rdx : 60 euros is 495 SEK
16:28 March 25, 2010 by Localer
@Newyork-Växjö

so you are internet police now ? ....how do you know that I'm faking all the stories? what an idiot......I bet you must be one of those people who can't stand the accusations.

ha ha ha...and peace out !
16:46 March 25, 2010 by Elias06
@Newyork-Växjö

I confirm the Localer story, i was the taxi driver that day and they paid 450 euros.I was soo happy that day that i asked the airport to open a 8th line for me so i can take all the japanese market and the Localer friends as he is lazy to pick his friends up from the airport
17:28 March 25, 2010 by Newyork-Växjö
He paid the money 450EURO to an airport taxi, no taxi number no driver name were recored . Everything is on the computer recored who was the driver and so on. and this lair localer who hate so much immigrants did not take an action to find the taxi driver wow.

what a fake poster is this Localer everytime he comes with new accusations to immigrants. I hope one day they kick his balls so he would come real story and then we say oh sorry man, did he kick also your butt ? if not why not? LOL
18:21 March 25, 2010 by Localer
oh wow internet police............real my post carefully....did i said me ? mmmm.....now i really wonder whether you should downgrade yourself from the title idiot ? if not why not? LOL

by the way, if i put up the proof about the credit card fraud. you suck it up and pronounce yourself of what i just call you ?

hahahaha...peace out.
19:07 March 25, 2010 by calebian22
It is possible that the Japanese were gullible enough. Anyone who has ever been to Japan knows how expensive a taxi ride is in that country. A half hour ride from the Osaka airport to the center of Osaka is around 1300 kronor. New York Växjo is speaking from his arse once again.
00:01 March 26, 2010 by blursd
So, let me see if I have this striaght ... you want to win over more customers by blocking their egress from the airport. Doesn't sound too smart to me.

Personally I almost always used to the taxi companies in Sweden when I had to take a taxi. Twice I took an independent taxi because I actually wanted to support them and give them my business. I only did it twice because they charged me 150 Kr. more than anyone else. The first time I was unhappy, but I thought it was a fluke so I just paid it and bit my tongue. The second time however I asked why it was so much, but was still forced to pay the fare. Almost 300 Kr. for a four minute ride seems a little ridiculous to me.
00:08 March 26, 2010 by soultraveler3
More typical bend over and take it attitude from the swedish government. :(

Why don't they just take some police and every available towtruck to the parked taxis and tow them away?

I've never seen another country that lets itself be bullied by everyone like Sweden does, it's sad and scary.

It's like the government is saying it's ok live off us, blow up our clubs, block our international airports, we'll complain behind closed doors but don't have the b#lls to do anything about it. If you think foriengers looking to take advantage don't notice that you're stupid.
00:32 March 26, 2010 by PonceDeLeon
FAVOURITISED??? Favored, possibly.. Don'y these immigrant, errr independent taxistas know their place?..
10:10 March 26, 2010 by Per Johansson52
@Växjo-Newyork

I know the taxi-driver! He shared half of money with me =)

@localer

How old are you my son??? wait Let me guess 13 years old little boy.

@calebian22

1300kr is equal to 130 EURO och 450 EURO is way too much for 30 min trip. We could believe this little boy if said 200EURO.
10:55 March 26, 2010 by Localer
@Per Johansson52 .....did mama left you already because you're talking non-sense again ? i glad she left you.

anyway, did you again read my post ????? they have no idea Sweden is still using Kronor, when they arrived in the Station, they handed over 450 EUROS instead of Kronor......and FYI, 320 EUROS is the average taxi price from Narita to Tokyo....or more if you stuck in the Tokyo traffic ! that were why they thought the taxi cost 450 EUROS is normal instead of Kronor !..

OK no more post from me on regards to this issue, and switch back to the original topic.

peace out !
11:42 March 26, 2010 by Britswedeguy
Anyone who's ever used taxis from Arlanda will know to advise other visitors to avoid these 'independent' taxis. You are safer - in every sense - to avoid these cowboys.
12:11 March 26, 2010 by farnoxo
The solution ... an all out taxi war for favourite routes like we have all the time in South Africa (se http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=vn20090902044319890C461453). Tool all the taxi drivers up with AK47's and machetes - last company standing gets the queues at Arlanda!
13:01 March 26, 2010 by joe90
from a friend who is a independant Taxi driver

``well we have stirred up a hornets nest

we means the Taxi Drivers of Stockholm and Uppsala association.

why has the system changed

i know the new system and the old system and the trouble the independant taxis have had having our voices heard. and seen by the prospective passengers.

why did they change it ?.it allows more Taxis to compete they said B...s....T. i pay the same as the other drivers and get sidelined to one line it is not a level playing field

Money is not everything here there is also the feeling that LFV do not want us here´´``i am not a Pirate i have been driving taxis in stockholm for 20 years´´

Get rid of the Pirates as you call them and let only The registered drivers pick up passengers at the airport.

Mohammed

there is alot of feeling the independant taxi drivers have been slighted and this i believe is only the beginning unless a agreement is obtained from both sides that they will try and take action again.

watch out for updates from joe 90
14:19 March 26, 2010 by Love-refugee
Agree with the majority of the posts. The so-called independent taxi operators are generally rip-off artists, exploiting the fact that tourists have no idea of the rate to Stockholm (sub-500 sek). They shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the airport.

I spent over a year commuting from Arlanda to Heathrow and have numerous bad experiences with some of these firms. The best value mainstream taxi operator is Transfer Taxi or obviously Arlanda Express, if going to central Stockholm.
14:53 March 26, 2010 by calebian22
Per Johansson-

I can't speak to the veracity of Localer's story, but having worked for 5 years for Yaskawa automation in Fukuoka, Japan, I had Japanese coworkers ripped off by taxi drivers all over the world. 450 Euros is a lot, but not out of the realm of possibility, at least in my anecdotal experience.
14:57 March 26, 2010 by Per Johansson52
Localer is little boy, he thinks he can fool the readers here. Poor little boy was caught lying.
22:30 March 26, 2010 by pjtaipale
"global law: taxi drivers suck"

Not everywhere. Amazingly, in China, no taxi driver ever tried to seriously rip me off. It could be because I'm 30 cm taller and 30 kg heavier than most of them, but anyway. I don't have too many bad experiences elsewhere in the world, either. Never any problems in Germany. Nothing major in the U.S. I'm not travelling all the time, but have some experience.

However, what you sometimes get at the Stockholm airport is just so sad. Some of it is really 3rd world.
18:57 November 3, 2010 by swedenfan
I feel sorry for them but they do sometimes ripoff customers, so my advice is stick to the known taxi firms.

Surf to www.stockholmtaxi.tel with your cellphone and you can click to call any of the numbers. All the best taxi companies are listed there.
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