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The growth is mainly due to the increased checks on Flemish roads.

The past year has been a period of significant growth in connections in the taxi industry in Flanders. This growth is mainly attributable to increased enforcement activities along Flemish roads, particularly aimed at taxi drivers. The police have stepped up their efforts to check whether taxis are connected to the central Chiron journey database, which is mandatory in Flanders. In certain cases, this has led to the withdrawal of authorizations from drivers who were not connected to this database.

According to Gerrit Saey, director of Censys BV based in Eindhoven, there has been a notable increase in the number of applications from entrepreneurs who want to join Chiron. “We see requests coming in almost every day for entrepreneurs to connect to the journey database. Word of mouth about our services and guidance during the connection is the best advertising you can get,” he says.

Another important aspect of this growth is the increased support for French-speaking entrepreneurs by Censys BV, which attracts many entrepreneurs in this language group. Nevertheless, the required Dutch language test remains a challenge. Taxi drivers in Brussels, where the practical language is often French, must now pass a Dutch one language test to keep their taxi license. “We notice that most drivers in the Belgian capital speak little or no Dutch,” Saey explains.

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Cartoon: Pitane Blue - language test for taxi drivers

The deadline for passing this language test has been set for next summer. Drivers who fail risk losing their license. A spokesperson for the Flemish Minister of Mobility emphasizes the importance of language proficiency: “It is important to be able to make good agreements about the price, the journey and the destination. That is why it is important that a certain level of Dutch is reached.” The language test also includes a written part, which increases the requirement for language proficiency.

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In the meantime, Censys BV remains active in the connecting entrepreneurs. The company's software, Pitane Pallas, was recently implemented in the vehicles at Multiotaxi in Tienen. This software, originally introduced on the Dutch market for participation in the Practical Test of the Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT), has now been adapted for Flanders. It has been made suitable for connection with Chiron and is now also available in several languages ​​for Brussels drivers. Multiotaxi, part of Multiobus – known as a forerunner in electric public transport and recently in the news because of one tragic fire – is one of many companies benefiting from these technological advances.

Chiron

Chiron is the central journey database for individual paid passenger transport that is made available for this purpose by the Flemish Government. In the new regulations which has been in force since January 1, 2021, it is provided that every holder of a new permit (i.e. granted since January 1, 2020) must transmit his/her journey data in real time to the Flemish Government (BVR November 8, 2019, art. 32 and 63 ).

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