The regulator leaves nothing to chance when it comes to building a new taxi system for the supervision of taxi transport. The ILT, part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, organized a first information meeting for (ICT) service providers in the Social Impact Factory at Vredenburg in Utrecht. The regulator calls on ICT companies to develop and market the equipment and/or software required for this.
Henri van der Heijden underlines the importance of data quality, the Achilles' heel of the system. The fact that construction must be done carefully is central to all parties present. ILT acknowledges that the quality of the data in the current on-board computer system is low and there are many faults. But even now there are many questions from the ICT sector. For example, Gerrit Saey of Eindhoven-based Pitane Mobility asks why we wait until 2028 before everyone is over and whether a shorter transition period for the introduction of the new taxi system would not be desirable?
Van der Heijden thinks this is not too bad. “The entire sector knows that the current system is not working properly and it is also a thorn in the side of many that some taxi companies remain under the radar. We will continue to discuss the transition period with the Ministry and the KNV. But for the time being, the ministry wants to prevent accelerated depreciation of equipment and the BCT cards renewed in 2021.”
Program manager van der Heijden is aware that such a bridging period of many years is disadvantageous for ICT service providers because the payback period is longer. The taxi sector (with approximately 11.000 entrepreneurs, 55.000 driver cards and 35.000 vehicles) is also a modest market. “I can imagine that suppliers will integrate the service to replace the BCT into a broader portfolio of other mobility services,” says van der Heijden and indicates that the ILT is not concerned that there is insufficient enthusiasm among service providers. The positive signals from the market so far give no reason for this.
The majority of taxi rides in the Netherlands are carried out for student and target group transport. The big question is how those journeys will be processed in the system. Is it about the total journey from start to finish time, or is registration per boarding/disembarking passenger? The program manager states that the starting point of Variant BCT for a route is the start and end point. He prefers to make as little distinction as possible because the more variations in registrations, the greater the chance that this will be at the expense of data quality. But, he tells those present, “we are not in an ivory tower. We will take on board these kinds of questions about group and target group transport from the market.”
He refers to the consultations that are being held with chain partners, such as the KNV (Royal Dutch Transport), the Kiwa certification institute (issues taxi permits on behalf of the government), the RDW (vehicle registration register), the Chamber of Commerce (company information) and the Tax and Customs Administration (payment, retention obligation ). There is also a sounding board group with three panels for legislation and regulations, IV & ICT and, later, the users of BCT.
The ILT has now published the draft API specifications and interface documentation on the special Dutch Mobility Innovations-website. There is also more background information. More information and consultation rounds will also follow: webinars will be held in May for interested ICT companies. A practical test is planned for the autumn, during which the Inspectorate will conduct a test run with a number of taxi companies and ICT suppliers who have registered in the meantime.
Also read the full Computable article by Rik Sanders about the meeting in Utrecht here .