Although the focus of Taxi & Tour P. van de Pol was once solely on taxi transport, the company now mainly focuses on coach transport. Because the drivers could be deployed in Peter van de Pol’s funeral company, the carrier got through the corona time. Meanwhile, the demand for taxi and coach transport is also increasing. To such an extent that Van de Pol wants to expand.

The basis of taxi and coach company P. Van de Pol was established in 1887 laid by his ancestor. “He was coachman for the mayor of Harderwijk and lived in the coach house,” says Van de Pol. “After the mayor’s death, the carriage was bequeathed to him. He was the first in Gelderland to have a carriage with rubber tires and wanted to transport people with it.” This became a success and when the first cars came on the market, he quickly bought one. “Slowly, the work expanded to include everything related to mobility. For example, an ambulance service was set up and he started a garage and car showroom.”

The company was divided up at the end of the twentieth century. “My father, who was a co-owner at the time, continued with the transport business. Back then only with taxis and around 1917 there were coaches added.” He himself fulfilled a role in the company from the age of sixteen, but never had the idea to take over his father’s company. This changed when Van de Pol noticed that his education in organization and IT did not suit him. His responsibilities within the company grew and in 1917 he took over. This put the fifth generation at the helm.

Less focus on taxi due to tenders The coach transport was now the main source of income become of the company. “It’s now good for 99 percent of turnover and taxi for 12 per cent. We only have five taxis left while this one ever 320 goods.” According to Van de Pol, this is due to the tenders. “The focus is too much on price and far too little on quality, while this is the most important thing for us. If I already know that we cannot provide the service and quality with a contract, I say no. Luckily I’m still in the privileged position to be able to do this,” he says.

Text continues below the photo.

Garage company P. van de Pol, 1887. The amount street taxi transport performed by the company is also minimal. Moreover, answering the small amount of demand for this is not made any easier because work has to be done in Maxflex or service blocks . “If I call a driver between blocks to take a ride, I now have to pay him for an extra six hours. I can’t take a two bucks ride for that. I therefore refuse such rides or try to find an alternative. Stupidly enough, a coach driver is allowed to drive the ride or I hire a self-employed driver, but there are also restrictive rules attached to this.”

Only when the focus is on quality again, the entrepreneur would consider shifting the company’s focus to taxi transport. “For now, we only go for taxis and only for smaller-scale assignments. In any case, the clients we drive for know that if transport has to be properly arranged, they also have to pay well for it. Most of our taxi drivers have been employed for more than twenty years, so they have to be paid accordingly.”

A satisfied driver makes for a satisfied customer The fact that this is not self-evident in all companies is, according to him, a bad thing. “I hear stories of drivers who are not paid well, but also of which employers do not handle driving and rest times properly. I don’t think that’s possible. The drivers are the most important part of a transport company and by not treating them properly, you cannot bind them to you.” According to him, a satisfied driver provides 99 percent of the time also for a satisfied customer. “I have a beautiful fleet, which I certainly don’t miss the point with, but the driver is much more important than that beautiful car. I also make it a point to see which ride suits which driver.”

More money for good quality Van de Pol also states that there has only been natural staff turnover in his company during corona time. “All the drivers are still inside and new drivers are now coming in.” This is partly due to the fact that it suddenly became very busy at his funeral organization due to corona. “I was able to let drivers drive in hearses and because coaches often stopped due to suspension, coach drivers drove in taxis.” The costs remained low due to the suspended vehicles and the support packages helped to pass the time.

Text continues below the photo.

VIP class coach from Taxi & Tour P. van de Pol. What Van de Pol notices now that corona is disappearing into the background is that people have more money left for transport of good quality. “Whereas the cheapest van was previously chosen and legroom was not seen as important, now even families go for a luxury coach. This is something that was previously mainly reserved for companies.” According to him, all coaches are already fully booked in the months of June, July and August. For this reason, Van de Pol wants to purchase two new coaches in the near future. In addition, he wants to add an electric taxi to the vehicle fleet.

Making the vehicle fleet more sustainable If the taxi operator is asked to looking into the further future of his company, he starts talking about self-driving transport. “I expect that in twenty years’ time we will move towards autonomous taxi transport. The question is how you, as a small entrepreneur, can hold your own in that market.” For now, he mainly focuses on making his vehicles more sustainable. “Our entire fleet has been Euro 6 for five years now and we are moving towards electric taxi transport. There is not yet an electric alternative available for coach transport. But I have already agreed with a supplier that as soon as the first hydrogen coach comes on the market, I want it.”

Read also:

‘Only one thing important to Kijlstra: the people’ Connexxion: ‘Unabridged 14, withholding 5 percent for a break is not normal’ Why should young people still become taxi or coach drivers? 2022

Comments are closed.