The turnover of taxi drivers fell sharply during the corona crisis. This is what State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen (Infrastructure and Water Management) writes in a letter to the House of Representatives. Research shows that the turnover of taxi drivers has almost halved.

“The report shows that the consumer taxi market has been hit hard by the decline in demand for taxis”, writes State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen. “At the beginning of the pandemic, there was about a 90 percent less demand. In November 2021, the end of the study period, there was about half the demand for taxis than before corona. The turnover of drivers decreased proportionally: on average they had 19 to 19 percent less turnover.”

According to the CDA minister, many taxi drivers have anticipated the decreased demand for taxis during the corona crisis. Some taxi drivers have done so by temporarily suspending their vehicles. The vast majority of drivers have applied for state aid. “For example, 78 percent of sole proprietorships have made use of the Compensation for Entrepreneurs Affected Sectors Covid-19 (TOGS).” Data from municipalities also show that drivers have made massive use of the Temporary Bridging Scheme for Self-Employed Entrepreneurs (Tozo).

According to the cabinet, however, not all taxi drivers met the conditions of the aid. “Reasons for this are, for example, too high a turnover, too few fixed costs or the income of the partner.”

Goodwill measures In addition, various lease companies and insurers have offered goodwill measures. For example, insurers affiliated with the Dutch Association of Insurers (more than 90 percent) used a ‘framework for entrepreneurs in need’ to avoid debts to taxi drivers as much as possible. State Secretary Heijnen states that partly because of this, the taxi sector has survived the corona crisis. “Thanks to the support measures, leniency, help from family, use of own resources and a lot of perseverance, the industry has been able to withstand the crisis.”

Debts Industry organization Royal Dutch Transport (KNV) says it recognizes the picture that the State Secretary paints in her letter. “We have also heard this from various taxi companies,” a spokesperson said. “What struck us in the letter is that it said that without these support measures even more drivers would be in debt, while more than 70 percent of taxi drivers have indicated that they are in debt. That is of course not a favorable picture with a view to the future.”

The sector organization sometimes agrees with State Secretary Heijnen’s statement that the taxi sector has survived the crisis. According to KNV, all support measures have contributed to this. The interest group does, however, question its future-proofing. “This sector is important for the mobility system in the Netherlands,” the spokesperson explains. “Then you also have to look at the long term. Now, of course, everyone is catching up, but will taxi companies also survive in the longer term when the weather calms down? We’ll have to see that by then.”

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