Brief history of the taxi in Arona
The Arona Radio Taxi Association was set up on 1 April 1977. It currently has 251 licences for public service vehicles, 18 of which are adapted for people with reduced mobility, known as PRM.
To talk about taxis in the south of Tenerife and specifically in Arona, and more specifically about taxi drivers, is to recognise first class witnesses who have lived and participated in the social, cultural and economic life of the municipality.
Each family of taxi drivers contains a multitude of anecdotes and experiences that have taken place over the last 60 years. In the book entitled El acontecer del TAXI en ARONA by Marcos Brito, published in 2011, he gives an extensive history of all the professionals who have participated in the life of the taxi in the municipality of Arona.
We extract the most relevant details from the aforementioned book, which can be summarised in the following paragraphs:
The roads and motorways in the south of Tenerife are, to put it familiarly, from the day before yesterday.
It was not until the middle of the 20th century and especially since the 60s and 70s that the capital and the neighbouring municipalities were connected. Until then, the main mode of transport was the coastal shipping, and in the beginning it was the local carriages or lorries that served as multi-purpose transport.
From the 1940s onwards, the old southern road reached the municipality of Arona, and at the end of the 1960s, the southern part of the town was connected to Santa Cruz de Tenerife by means of the southern motorway.
In the mid 20’s of the 20th century, small multi-purpose lorries proliferated: moving goods from the midlands to the coast, transporting workers or bringing staff to all kinds of festivities.
The traffic lorry, owned by Rosario Alfonso Gorrín, could be seen and tested in Arona.
And the first public service vehicle appeared, as announced on the page of the magazine Hespérides in January 1928:
“The first public service car on the roads and tracks in the south of Tenerife. Adeje, Granadilla de Abona, Arona, Médano and Los Cristianos. Property of Mr. Luis González Barroso”.
It is known that there were unregistered vehicles moving people to errands and celebrations in the 30’s and 40’s, both neighbours and members of the town council or the board of education.
Licences to operate with auto-tourist cars, later renamed auto-taxi, began to be granted at the end of the 1950s. The first plenary session of the municipal corporation awarded 4 licences to: Ramón Martín Cabeza; José Mesa García; Domingo Martín Fumero; and Francisco Reverón García.
It was in these years that the taxi ranks were born, at first in a totally artisan manner, maintained by the drivers themselves. With the boom in tourism, with the development that followed the inauguration of the motorway, the population and the transit of passengers through the Port of Los Cristianos multiplied, with a greater demand for services and with the subsequent opening of the southern airport, the demand for day and night transport multiplied.
The number of licences was greatly increased and the taxi drivers were uniformed in 1969, with white cars with grey roofs and uniforms of beige shirts and black ties. Thirty years later, in a new vote, it was decided that the uniform would be a blue shirt, blue trousers and black shoes. Subsequently, cars adapted for people with reduced mobility were introduced.