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The sector requires clear communication from the government.

After the announcement Considerable criticism has been expressed from the taxi sector in the media about the postponement of the introduction date of the Central Taxi Database (CDT). The project team's technical readiness was scheduled for July 1, 2024, but legal delays throw a spanner in the works. The Practical Test came to an abrupt halt on New Year's Eve 2023 due to the expiration of the legal basis for working with real data. Although the transition period, during which the CDT and the BCT could be used in parallel, remains unaffected, the changed start date has nevertheless exposed sore points.

Investments

Entrepreneurs in the taxi sector need clear communication to be able to estimate the impact on their business operations and investments. Gerrit Saey, director of the Eindhoven software house Censys BV, speaks of a stalemate regarding investments. Taxi companies are about to renew their fleets and replace cars with electric vehicles, with the delay in the CDT implementation causing uncertainty and the question of whether this is the right time to do so now or will continue for another year to drive.

Despite the technical preparedness of some suppliers with their new MDT terminals that are also suitable for CDT use, this only offers an interim solution. There is no real benefit from alternatives that can replace the current hardware. “The next 6 months were a bridge that you could build, but a year is a bit long to come up with tolerated constructions that do not currently exist. The question is whether this has been considered and whether this decision has significant consequences for the investment policy in the market?" says Gerrit Saey.

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Photo: © Pitane Blue - taxi stand

"Whether it will really be January 1, yes, I find that a very difficult question to answer, the lame answer is, I don't have a crystal ball," says Henri van der Heijden.

The delay in the introduction of the Central Taxi Database exposes legal pain points. There is great disappointment among entrepreneurs who participated in the Practical Test. None of them anticipated a scenario where a postponement would occur for non-technical reasons. One of the IT service providers suggests starting a new Practical Test on July 1, 2024, which could turn into a 'pilot'.

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“I want to prevent the 5 participating ICT service providers from gaining such an advantage over the rest that this could lead to unfair competition. So I want to look with lawyers, say procurement lawyers, to see whether we can or should we do that?”, says project leader Henri van der Heijden.

progress

Henri van der Heijden, the project leader, emphasizes the importance of equal opportunities for all ICT service providers and avoiding unfair competition. Consultations will be held with procurement lawyers to determine whether it is possible and permissible to involve more service providers in the remainder of the Practical Test.

The participants' concerns also extend to the future of the current project group. Will they continue to exist after July 1, 2024, or will their mission end? There is a call for a detailed and careful transfer by the current working group, possibly even until after January 2024. “It would be nice if the current working group could supervise the transfer in detail and also remain in place until or even beyond January 2024.”, said one of those present.

“We have always envisaged a warm transfer as a program, so that we involve the current ILT organization in the development process from the earliest possible moment during the practical test when it is taken into management. These people are now all sitting at the table. In some areas this took a while, but now everyone is sitting at the table and feels their own responsibility. We also still believe that you can never let go as a program after achieving a milestone,” says Henri van der Heijden.

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Goal

Van der Heijden reminds everyone of the original goals of the CDT: improving data processing and reducing dependence on the BCT cards. Despite the obstacles, the Practical Test shows that the results achieved are promising and in line with the set objectives. However, there is still doubt among some suppliers who indicate that it will only be successful when it turns out that the ILT inspectors on the road also have access to the current information and the usefulness of the CDT introduction becomes apparent during arrests or checks.

The taxi sector is in a period of transition in which technical innovations, legal care and market dynamics come together. The coming period will be crucial in shaping a resilient and future-proof taxi market. 

Royal Dutch Transport

KNV has now also informed its members about the CDT postponement and also indicates in the newsletter that clear communication is required from participants, so that entrepreneurs have a better idea of ​​the impact on business operations and investments.

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