Taxi drivers association in the Boi Valley offers a transport service from the regional center to the National Park by 4x4 vehicles.
150,000 tourists visit the Aigüestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici National Park every year. Since 1995, it is prohibited to enter the National Park by car. Before, thousands of cars entered this wonderful nature reserve in the high Pyrenees during the main season. Since the access is forbidden, tourists need an alternative to get in the National Park. Some inhabitants of the Boí Valley (one of the entrances to the National Park) took this need to their advantage. A cooperative (taxi association) was founded in order, to offer a hailed-shared-taxi-service to tourists and inhabitants from the villages in the Boí Valley to the National park.
Vehicles must be left at the parking areas. Visitors can ask for a taxi service at the tourist office and when the taxi is full (they can take 7 people and the driver) the vehicle gets them into the National Park.
Stakeholders are the city council from the municipality of La Vall de Boi (by boosting and promoting the service), the taxi drivers association from La Vall de Boi (by providing the service), the Aigüestortes National Park authority (by managing the service) and the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability of Catalonia (by regulating the service).
At the same time the taxi drivers from La Vall de Boi provide private services for locals.
The cooperative consists of 19 freelancer drivers with everyone his own 4*4-shuttle taxi. The area which is characterized by step slopes and rough climate, requires this kind of vehicles. The association works as a cooperative and share benefits, and don't receive public funding.
Evidence of success
This service is much used by visitors especially in spring and summer. Since the time it was implemented and the taxi services established, the number of visitors at the National Park has increased by more than 10% each year.
In the Aigüestortes part of the National Park, the total number of taxis rides during 2017 was 6,454 and the total number of passengers was 46,558. In the Saint Maurici part, 80.182 passangers used the service with 13.027 taxi rides.
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice is interesting for other regions, because:
• It allows stopping vehicles from getting into the National Park and protecting the area from air and noise pollution, by offering a sustainable alternative.
• No funding is needed. The taxi association shares the earnings from ticket fares between its members.
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