If you happen to be visiting Valencia this winter, perhaps for a Christmas break or just a day trip, you ought to keep a sharp eye open to a new taxi that can be found cruising through the city streets. Called the “Eco-Taxi”, the concept goes way beyond a simple, environmentally aware driver.
Although, as the name suggests, the taxi fleet are indeed environmentally friendly, consisting of hybrid vehicles, some using gas or other alternative energy, with the Toyota Prius and the Auris being the most popular, the level of service and facilities provided to the passenger goes way beyond that.
As the driver greets each passenger with a personal introduction, you are welcomed into the vehicle, which is not only air conditioned, but is also fitted with an ionizer to purify the air inside.
The techno friendly will also be pleased to know that the vehicles also come with Wi-Fi connections and even a mobile phone, so you can surf as you travel in the hands of your professional driver.
Standards of quality are amongst the most important key factors to this new and almost futuristic level of service, with every Ecotaxi partner required to maintain their vehicle in perfect condition inside and out, making sure that the vehicle is cleaning, and that the bodywork is without bumps or scratches. The drivers themselves have also dictated their own ethos with which to maintain decorum at all times, actively avoiding confrontation of any kind, to ensure the most peaceful journey possible.
The brainchild of an association of taxi drivers, promoted by a former councillor and entrepreneur Juan Carlos Gimeno, the group currently has 50 vehicles operating through Valencia, complete with the rather obvious branding on the cars, and is all set to make waves across Spain, as the 31st of October is the official launch date for a concept that could well change the future of taxi travel, or may just fall as yet another whim, but let us hope that with the dedication of those behind the scheme that they will provide a positive pollutant to convert the lesser friendly taxi driver and encourage a future of service and quality.