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There is great frustration within the taxi industry.

The Hague's taxi policy is under pressure now that the local taxi world is plagued by unfair competition and a lack of enforcement. Richard de Mos, the leader of Hart voor Den Haag, strongly criticizes the approach of councilor Arjen Kapteijns of GroenLinks. According to De Mos, the municipality is guilty of ignoring illegal practices within the taxi industry, which gives drivers without the correct permits free rein at taxi stands.

The concerns in the taxi industry are not of today or yesterday. For a decade, registered taxi drivers have been struggling with increasing competition from drivers who do not adhere to the rules introduced since 2013. These rules require that drivers are affiliated with an Authorized Taxi Organization (TTO) and carry a quality mark, which should guarantee that they meet certain quality requirements. However, the Haaglanden Taxi Interest Foundation notes that many drivers who do not meet these criteria still pick up customers at the official stands with impunity.

bread robbery

De Mos points out that this situation leads to what he calls 'bread robbery': licensed drivers lose customers to those who do not follow the rules. This not only has financial consequences for legitimate taxi drivers, but also undermines the quality and reliability of the taxi services the city offers to its residents and visitors.

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Photo: © Pitane Blue - taxi drivers at Scheveningen

In response to this problem in the local media, the municipality appears to be taking a wait-and-see attitude. Councilor Kapteijns' spokesperson indicates that discussions are taking place with the taxi industry, but these conversations rarely lead to concrete actions or improvements in policy. De Mos criticizes this approach as inadequate and accuses the councilor of hiding behind future changes in the law instead of taking action now.

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There is great frustration within the taxi industry. There are regular meetings and consultations, but the frequency and effectiveness of these are questioned by the taxi drivers. They do not feel heard and see their income decrease while the municipality remains negligent in enforcing the existing regulations.

What is now on the agenda for the Hague taxi industry and the municipality is a clear need for change and more involvement. The taxi drivers demand that serious discussions are held and that actual improvements are made in the enforcement of the taxi policy. Without these changes, honest drivers will continue to suffer from policies that do not sufficiently protect them against unfair competition.

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