According to the initiators of the petition, there are too many taxi companies in Amsterdam, but stopping at the municipal boundaries is not possible in a free market for services. It should be clear that there is a lot going on in the taxi sector in Amsterdam, but also that all actions do not really contribute to the image of Amsterdam taxi drivers. The online petition was welcomed only five times during the past weekend.
When compiling the petition text, emphasis was placed on the fact that there are too many taxis in Amsterdam and especially the taxis on the order market would cause nuisance in the center due to Uber drivers. This set the tone from which angle the petition originated. There is also a lot of criticism of the Taxi Academy which would promise mountains of gold for those who start working as a self-employed person via the Uber platform.
The ILT report 'Market image Taxi' shows that there is one taxi company per 351 inhabitants in Amsterdam. By way of illustration, for Almere there are 706 and Purmerend 580. Via a online petition the initiators would like to request all municipalities, but starting in Amsterdam and the surrounding area, to set a ceiling for the number of taxi companies per inhabitant.
Yet the figures within the taxi sector are less dramatic than what the petition suggests because 80% of the taxi market consists of the contract market. Only 16% consists of the call and order market and the remaining 4% consists of the entry market. And the petition is online precisely for that last group. Demand in the boarding market is decreasing as more and more rides are ordered in advance. This is done, among other things, via platforms such as Uber.
In addition to the markets mentioned above, there is also illegal taxi transport by mustaches. A look at the street near hotels or Schiphol Airport confirms this. Screaming people with a taxi sign trap unsuspecting tourists. The fact that targeted checks can be carried out on this can help the market to improve its image considerably.
At the end of 2022, Amsterdam had approximately 2490 taxi companies, for comparison Rotterdam has 520 and The Hague 440. Until 2019, the number of taxi companies grew. Most had 1 employed person. Despite the growth, the number of drivers remained more or less the same over the years, as did the number of taxi vehicles. Corona has caused a significant decrease in the number of taxi companies. After the abolition of the corona measures since mid-2022, there is a shortage of drivers, especially in healthcare transport.
In addition, the number of complaints about the street market has fallen slightly in recent years, with the majority of complaints still about affordability. The number of complaints about the contract market has also fallen. Dissatisfaction with availability is the main reason for a complaint here. On the other hand, drivers also encounter unwanted behavior from customers, such as violence and physical abuse.
An important development in the taxi industry is platformisation. Taxi drivers are increasingly being engaged via a platform (Uber). As a result, demand in the entry-level market is declining. Drivers see this as a negative development. A platform, which does not see itself as an employer, does not offer the driver the same rights as an employee.
Crime occurs in the taxi industry. Criminals need transport of drugs, people and weapons, among other things. But some in the taxi industry also support crime in other ways. Such as through money laundering, observation and recruitment. In Amsterdam, where the largest number of taxis are on the road, it appears that half of the registered blue license plates have been involved in a crime. This often concerns traffic crimes, but also violence, drug and arms trafficking or crimes against property.
Driving from Schiphol is popular. Drivers are prepared to pay a lot of money to the owner of a taxi company for this. In addition, there are also various unorganized taxi providers who lure customers into their taxi with fake Schiphol signs. They display intimidating behavior towards municipal special officers (boas). Examples of undesirable or criminal behavior are: insufficient quality (customer-unfriendly behaviour), refusal of a ride, detours, defrauding passengers, drug use, traffic accidents and nuisance. On the other hand, drivers also sometimes experience undesirable behavior from passengers.
An important source is the Taxi monitor, a publication of the ILT. This monitor brings together various sources to provide a numerical insight into developments in the taxi market.