Due to the mandatory closure of the catering industry at midnight, taxis have to deal with one major peak moment on weekends. But because there are now fewer drivers active in the industry, ‘no’ is more often sold. Yet taxi companies do not want to return to the capacity they had before corona.

Now that corona is on its way back and the measures are being reduced further and further, the demand for street taxi transport is increasing. While this is still perfectly manageable for taxi companies during the week, there is a large crowd around midnight. Hedy Borreman, director of TCA, explains that on Friday and Saturday she around that time have one big rush hour. “Normally this was spread out between an hour or 19. evening and 4.00 at night, but now there is much more demand at the same time.”

The fact that there are many drivers have flown out in corona time, can be felt at that peak moment. However, it is expected that the situation will improve when the measures for nightlife are also lifted. According to Gamis El Bouakili, director of SchipholTaxi and TCS, there is no need to rush in search of drivers. “In any case, the industry should ask itself whether it is right to match capacity to these peaks, as has been done in the past. The rest of the week you then have to deal with overcapacity and therefore nuisance.”

Look at the average demand throughout the week According to El Bouakili, it is healthier to look at the average demand of a whole week. Borreman agrees. “The work should be manageable with the current number of drivers, but not now due to the mandatory catering closure at twelve o’clock. Within our company, however, we already said before the corona crisis that we have too many offers, so maybe the truth lies somewhere in the middle.”

When there is more spread again , she thinks it will get better. “Then you will see that even with the current number of drivers it is possible to meet the demand. Then the same driver takes two or three trips in a row, while you now need three taxis for the same number of people.” Demand is not yet at pre-corona levels and is expected to increase further in the near future.

However, this does not cause concern at El Bouakili. “Demand is increasing, but so is the supply. I see an autonomous recovery of the market. It is gradual. I therefore think that the growing demand – without the peaks – will be met by the influx and re-entry of drivers.”

Difference with healthcare transport According to El Bouakili, the situation on the street taxi market is different from that in healthcare transport. Many healthcare transport drivers have found work in another industry during the corona crisis and hardly return . “These are mostly drivers in paid employment. They may not be so quick to let go of the certainty they have found in another sector to take up the challenge in the taxi industry again.”

The street taxi market, on the other hand, has many freelancers who have made use of the Tozo scheme during the corona crisis. “They have started looking for another job to a lesser extent. Now that government support has ended and more can slowly be done, you see them coming back in the industry.” Borreman also notes that drivers had suspended their cars during corona time and have now started using them again. “But there are also drivers who invest in a vehicle again and, whether or not again, start working on the street taxi market.”

uniform regulations At first glance, the situation on the street taxi market does not seem alarming, but according to the two directors there are still plenty of things that can be improved. For example, El Bouakili states that if he were at the helm of the government, he would focus on market forces. “For example, I would opt for tendering for pitches. Then you can set requirements for a location and companies that are awarded a location benefit from delivering a certain quality. That is not the case now.”

He compares the current situation with “collecting separated waste, to throw everything back together at the end station”. The legislation and regulations that apply to the street taxi market distinguishes between the boarding market and the delivery market. “In practice, it only appears that the consumer does not notice this difference. They need transportation and raise their hands. As a driver you cannot even explain that you are not allowed to stop because you are doing the delivery. It’s far too complicated.”

Borreman agrees. “Platform drivers now often offer rides on the boarding market, while this is not allowed.” These drivers are little checked , she says. “I hear from our drivers that when they check, these are often TTO taxis. This has to change.” According to her, however, it starts with aligning the rules for the entire consumer market. “Because if a platform driver drives through a red light, he simply gets a fine while our drivers have to be suspended for a week.”

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