Bredase taxi drivers need a quality mark to be allowed to work at the stands.Photo: ANP/Hollandse Hoogte/Tobias Kleuver

Taxi drivers in Breda are completely done with the quality mark they need to be allowed to work at the taxi ranks. To make this known, several drivers went on strike last Sunday during carnival at the location on the Prinsenkade. “We feel like we’re at the bottom of the list.”

Since 16 Breda taxi drivers need a quality mark. Without this quality mark, they are not allowed to carry out any work at the stands. According to the drivers, however, many taxis come from outside Breda to transport customers during carnival. They do not have the Bredase quality mark, but they do transport passengers. “We pay for this quality mark,” says one of the drivers to Breda Today. “Then you also want to get something in return, but that doesn’t happen. There are massive numbers of taxis without a quality mark. And those taxis are barely checked. This can’t go on any longer.”

Everyone The representative of Taxi Breda Nu confirms this picture. He also temporarily suspended his work during the strike. “I think it’s a good initiative,” he explains to TaxiPro. “During carnival, we found that everyone, including taxi companies from outside Breda, could simply connect to the stands. There were also black riders among them. In that case, such a quality mark is of no use to you, while we do have to pay for it. You can agree on many rules with each other. But if these are not enforced, then they are of no use at all.”

According to the representative of the Breda taxi company, enforcement also left much to be desired. “At least I haven’t seen them. Later I understood from the enforcement that they were present at certain times and noted a number of license plates. However, that did not help, because a little later these taxis were behind us again to pick up customers.”

Closed taxi market The fact that taxis from other cities can come to Breda to work has to do with the fact that Breda is a so-called open taxi market. “We don’t have a closed taxi market here, so other taxi companies can simply work here outside the stands. I really wonder how that is possible. Those drivers stopped along the road to pick up customers. That is not allowed at all, because it obstructs through traffic. It’s just not right. Because we are not a closed taxi market, the door is wide open for taxis from other cities. We feel that we are at the bottom of the list. There is a lot of frustration about that.”

That is why the drivers want to talk to the municipality about this subject as soon as possible. “It’s just a problem. This concerns the entire Breda taxi sector. Everyone has ideas about how to proceed. We need to talk about that together. There must be a dialogue between the taxi sector and the municipality of Breda, which must lead to various solutions. Then we have to see which solutions are best for both parties.”

Bottlenecks The municipality of Breda, in turn, has said that it has often had discussions with taxi drivers who represent the local sector. “Within the municipality we have a taxi platform in which the taxi industry is represented,” says a spokesman for the municipality. “We meet regularly and discuss issues such as bottlenecks.”

Breda also indicates that there are indeed checks at the taxi ranks. “There is supervision at those stands to prevent taxis without a quality mark from taking up a position. On busy evenings, including during carnival, there are always stewards at the taxi ranks. They enforce the quality mark, which is explicitly linked to these locations. However, other providers are still free to pick up customers in other places in the city.”

“We do not have a closed taxi market in Breda,” the spokesman explains further. “That means that all registered taxis are allowed to do their job here, including those from outside Breda. That is what happens on busy days, such as carnival. It is up to visitors to the city center themselves to determine whether they board at the official stand with a taxi with a Breda taxi quality mark or with another provider.”

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