Taxi driver Jack Vannisselroij is able to put himself in the position of the difficult situation in which taxi entrepreneurs currently find themselves due to the driver shortage. Although he also experiences work pressure as a result, job satisfaction predominates. Still, Vannisselroij hopes for more colleagues, so that they can offer customers more without running out of time.

Vannisselroij started two years ago at Alptax in Deurne as a driver for target group transport. “I used to run a company that made audiovisual presentations for companies. I now work as a freelancer. In addition, I started doing taxi work because my job in corona time no longer yielded enough. And that turned out to be more fun than expected.” However, Alptax also quickly ended up in a difficult time because of corona. An additional setback for the company was that an order for student transport was not extended. “As a result, fellow drivers decided to transfer to the new carrier through the OPOV scheme.”

This is a choice that Vannisselroij understands, because the situation was uncertain and financially difficult. . However, as the corona situation improved and measures were relaxed, the demand for Taxbus transport increased rapidly. According to him, this increased the workload for the remaining group of drivers. “You work more hours in a day and are sometimes asked to help out on days off. I always try to help, but at some point your limit is reached and you have to rest. After all, transport must remain safe.”

Never thought of bus driver or parcel deliverer Despite the high work pressure, it is not moment came to Vannisseroij to quit his new job. “Many taxi drivers in the industry have made the switch to public transport or have started delivering parcels. I was also approached to become a bus driver, and with this I could have made a step up in salary. The only thing that matters more to me is the contact with customers. I can no longer miss this, because it gives me energy. As a bus driver and parcel deliverer, customer contact is very limited, which makes the work much less attractive for me.”

Customer friendliness is also the most important thing in his work for him. “Really transporting people from door to door, being nice and always having a calm appearance towards the customer.” According to the driver, all this is jeopardized by the tight schedules. “For example, if an older lady has trouble getting out, I do feel stress inside because I know that I will no longer be able to complete my rides on time. Yet I always tell the customer that there is enough time and there is no need to apologize. I always walk to the door. Not because my employer has to, but because I want this myself.”

Dealing with angry customers The gratitude that Vannisselroij receives in return as a driver, therefore outweighs the feeling of stress to make it to the next ride. Nevertheless, he hopes that in the future there will be more room in the planning for this part of the service. According to him, this is only possible if more people take up the profession of taxi driver and if something changes in tenders. Because Alptax recently hired another group of drivers, the workload at this company is already slightly lower. “However, I hope that not many of these drivers will drop out in the short term, as has sometimes been the case before.”

He himself wholeheartedly recommends taxi work, but under certain conditions. requirements. “That you can empathize with the customer, communicate well and radiate passion. The pay could be better, given the responsibility that a driver has. You really mean something to the people you transport and the contact with them is what makes the work so beautiful.” Of course there are also passengers with whom journeys are less pleasant, he says. “For example, if you arrive late. This sometimes provokes anger in them and you have to be able to deal with this. The most important thing is to lend a listening ear, to explain why you are late and to indicate that you as a driver do everything you can to carry out the transport as well as possible. They are often understanding towards you.”

Monday 27 February at 14: 00 there will be a TaxiPro TV themed broadcast about the staff shortage in the taxi industry . Guests include trade union FNV and Taxiwerq. Registration is still possible and you can here.

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