Another taxi protest might block the roads today

Licensed taxi drivers will be protesting today, but government officials hope to avoid long delays by persons not involved in the dispute.

Once again the taxi drivers are expressing their unhappiness with the way the central government is handling the so-called porteadores, the contract drivers who licensed taxi drivers see as competition.

The conflict is a long-standing one, but the central government thought it had reached an accord when it decided to provide special licenses to an estimated 3,000 contract drivers.

These licenses still are being issued, and the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y  Transportes said Monday that there have been 1,055 tickets issued this year to porteadores or pirate taxi drivers.

Licensed taxi drivers insist that the porteadores are continuing to function as taxi drivers by cruising the streets looking for fares.

They are supposed to function on call and carry individuals from one point to another.

Traffic police blame shortages of resources for not issuing more tickets.

In the past, taxi drivers have closed down the main routes, but at other times they have simply parked  along the shoulder to show the strength of their numbers. There has been unpleasantness when motorists try to run the blockades.

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