Print Friendly, PDF & Email
CDTONLIN

Enforcement parties have noticed a growing number of 'missing companies' in the taxi market. ILT indicates that this problem mainly occurs in the ordering market, specifically with companies that offer rides via platforms

The Dutch taxi market is at a crossroads between traditional services and innovative, technology-driven platforms such as Uber and Bolt. This is evident from the recently published Evaluation of Taxi Legislation 2023, carried out by Rebel and Goudappel on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW). The study sheds light on the efficiency and effectiveness of current legislation and regulations, in particular the Passenger Transport Act 2000 (Wp2000), in the light of the rapid developments within the sector.

The rise of digital platforms has dramatically changed the structure of the taxi market, blurring the traditional separation between the boarding and ordering markets. Consumers benefit from a more extensive range and more convenience, but these developments also pose new challenges to regulation and enforcement.

Safety, availability, affordability and reliability are core aspects of taxi transport that are highlighted in the evaluation. The overall conclusion is that the Wp2000 functions largely effectively, but there is room for improvement, especially given the changes in the market structure.

An important issue is the enforcement of current regulations. Due to the mixing of boarding and ordering markets by the platforms, it has become more difficult for local enforcement parties to check through which market a ride has been offered, which reduces the effectiveness of the regulation. There are calls for increased enforcement capacity and better cooperation and data sharing between enforcement agencies to strengthen compliance and identify and tackle substandard drivers.

(Text continues below the photo)
Photo: © Pitane Blue - student transport

Several discussion partners (municipalities, entrepreneurs and drivers) indicate that they see risks to road safety due to an increasing number of young and inexperienced drivers. These concerns cannot be substantiated with figures. There is no known distribution of the age of drivers and it is also not known whether there has been an increase in young drivers in recent years.

In addition, the evaluation highlights some specific challenges, such as the problem surrounding “missing companies” in the delivery market, where quality maintenance is difficult and drivers sometimes work under uncertain conditions. This problem, as well as the delay in the visibility of offenses in the VOG screening, require an approach that falls outside the framework of the Wp2000.

Read also  SFM: Webinar for women in healthcare transport on the challenges of menopause

The future of the taxi market requires strategic choices from the government. The evaluation proposes various options, such as market standardization, specific regulation of the platform market, or a cross-sectoral approach. This underlines the need for flexible and future-proof regulations that respond to the dynamic nature of the taxi market and promote the interests of both consumers and providers.

crime

The rise of 'plof-bv's' in the Dutch taxi market is a growing problem, especially within the ordering market where rides are offered via digital platforms. This phenomenon, characterized by business structures that can be set up quickly and declared bankrupt just as quickly, undermines the quality and safety of taxi transport. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) and other enforcement parties point out the specific challenges this practice entails: the quality of service to consumers is under pressure, and the anonymity of drivers makes enforcement complex.

These findings are in line with previous research by Bureau Beke from 2021, which focused on the situation in Amsterdam. That research also shows the negative influence of 'plof-bv's' on the sector, especially with regard to transparency and traceability of business operations and drivers.

To tackle this problem, measures are needed at different levels. Although a broad, cross-sectoral approach to 'plof BVs' falls outside the scope of the Passenger Transport Act 2000 (Wp2000), there are steps that can be taken within this legal framework to improve the situation. One option is to introduce stricter requirements for data sharing between relevant parties such as municipalities, the Tax Authorities, ILT, the Chamber of Commerce (KvK), and other authorities. This could strengthen supervision and enforcement through a better insight into the underlying corporate structures and the actual owners (Ultimate Beneficial Owners, UBOs) of these companies.

Read also  Climate: young people score lower on climate awareness than older people

It is important for both enforcement parties and consumers that a taxi company and driver can be traced, for example in the case of a complaint or violation. By traceable it is meant that the consumer can also find out after the journey which driver and/or company transported him/her. H

In addition, consideration is being given to reintroducing the professional competence requirement for entrepreneurs in the taxi industry. This measure would ensure that entrepreneurs are tested for their professional competence not only on paper, but also in practice when applying for a permit. This would enable a more direct approach to the problem of 'pop companies', by focusing on the responsibility and quality of the entrepreneurs behind the companies.

Another proposed alternative is to tighten the requirements surrounding the business location. For example, a requirement could be introduced that a company must have a real business address (and not just a postal address), and that changes to this data must be immediately reported to KIWA, the authority that issues permits on behalf of the government.

Images in our article are for illustrative purposes only of the taxi sector – source research report Rebel and Golden Apple

ABONNEMENT
Related articles:
App Stores