OREANDA-NEWS. August 20, 2013. It has been a month since a new taxi service provision system has been introduced at Vilnius International Airport. As of the 1st of July, a special road section is opened for taxis next to the airport’s arrival terminal, where taxis are waiting for passengers in an orderly “live” queue. To date, taxi services at Vilnius Airport are provided by SMART Taxi, Public Institution Vilnius veza and five self-employed operators.

Cars no older than 8 years with clean, neat and tidy cabins, helpful and well-mannered drivers, a receipt printed out at the destination, a possibility to pay by card – these are the requirements for companies and self-employed taxi service providers who want to work at Vilnius Airport. The number of service providers is not limited, and all operators that meet the requirements are welcome to join the new system.

“The primary aim of the new taxi system is to protect passengers, ensure that they are not deceived and overcharged with fares that are several times higher than the usual ones, and fundamentally improve the quality of passengers’ travel from/to the airport. We used to receive complaints from guests and residents of Vilnius about unreasonably high fares compared to taxi operators working in the city as well as lack of order or tidiness in the car. Today, the number of such complaints is decreasing. Instead, we see passengers recommending the new taxis to each other while still in the terminal. We hope that eventually we will be able to put stories about EUR 50 trips to the city centre and very poorly maintained taxicabs to rest in Vilnius. Our goal is to bring back the trust of residents and guests of Vilnius in taxi services at the airport,” the Managing Director of Vilnius International Airport said.

Information boards providing information on taxi services throughout the Airport inform about the maximum taxi fare per kilometre (LTL 3.5) and the maximum initial charge (LTL 5), set out maximum fares for the most popular routes in the city, for example, from the airport to Konstitucijos Avenue, the Cathedral Square, Santariskes Hospital, etc. Information boards also inform about the compensation procedure initiated and implemented by Vilnius Airport for passengers who paid for airport taxi services more than indicated. The airport covers all damages suffered by overcharged passengers who e-mail at airport@vno.lt and deliver a taxi receipt.

According to Mr Almantas, it is important to stress that Vilnius Airport does not close its doors for city taxi operators. “As before, passengers can use any city taxi to/from the airport. Taxis may be called to a parking lot right in front of the arrival terminal, where a 15-minute free-of-charge parking is available. Also, as before, it is allowed to stop and let out passengers near the departure terminal. However, a taxi line reserved for taxi operators who signed contracts with Vilnius Airport and marked by sign “P rezervuota” is only for taxicabs with passes,” Mr Almantas said.

“The new system still has room for improvement. We have to control old and creative taxi drivers who have become the airport’s heritage over more than 20 years. Dealing with this problem requires passengers’ assistance in choosing the right operator as well as active support from Vilnius City Municipality and the police. Please remember that taking a taxi from a “live” queue located in the area regulated by barriers in front of the arrival terminal ensures high-quality services for a fair price,” the Managing Director went on.