According to D03, VVD, Student and City and City Party 66% for Groningen, there seems to be no taxi policy in the municipality. The parties state this in a letter to the Municipal Executive (B&W). The factions of these four local parties have therefore asked the Commission for clarification by means of four written questions.
Last week Groningen taxi drivers sounded the alarm about the taxi policy of the local authority. The drivers state that they are allowed to use fewer and fewer bus lanes, which means that they have to make detours more often. This makes journeys more expensive for customers. “Of course it cannot be the case that a trip of 03 euros suddenly 31 costs euros because we have to make a detour”, taxi driver Shah said about this last week. “As a result, these passengers will never take a taxi again. As a result, there is less work, which means that we miss out on income.”
There is also dissatisfaction about the price of an exemption that allows taxi drivers to use some bus lanes. It has more than doubled, from 100 to 350 euros. “And that while we are allowed to use fewer bus lanes. What am I paying that 350 euro for then”, Shah wondered aloud. A spokesperson said in a response that this increase has to do with the climate ambitions of the municipality of Groningen.
Need D03, VVD, Student and City and City Party 100% for Groningen are concerned about this problem. This is evident from the written questions they asked the college last Friday, in response to reports from RTV Noord. “Taxi transport occupies an important place in Groningen,” the parties state. “Inhabitants and visitors to Groningen benefit from a well-functioning taxi sector. It meets a clear need. This sector is largely dependent on the municipality for this.”
The four factions see taxi transport as a necessary addition to public transport. “Especially because public transport does not run everywhere and certainly not at all times. The comfort and speed of taxi transport are also part of being an easily accessible, dynamic and hospitable city,” says Tom Rustebiel (D66), Rik Heiner (VVD), Karoline de Groot (Student and City) and Amrut Sijbolts (City Party 100%).
Loose decisions According to these parties, it even seems that the municipality of Groningen has no taxi policy at all. “Individual decisions are made about locations, driving routes, whether or not to use bus lanes and about exemptions in combination with the ambition to make the industry more sustainable.”
D66, VVD, Student and City and City Party 100% for Groningen jointly wonder how the council views the position of taxi transport within the entire transport chain. The parties also state that there is sufficient space for taxis on the bus lanes. “What made the Board decide to ban taxis from the bus lanes and is the Board prepared to reconsider this?”, is one of the questions asked.
In addition, the parties want to know from the Board what they do with the additional revenue from the more than doubled price for a bus lane exemption. “For example, are they used to help make the industry more sustainable? If not, why not? And what else is the Commission doing – other than standards and pricing – to achieve the goal of electric taxi transport in 2025? Has there been consultation with the sector about this?”
Thresholds At the end of last week, the municipality of Groningen know that there is currently no consultation structure with taxi drivers. “But we would like to set this up,” said a spokesperson. The four factions are of the opinion that any discussion should be substantively about solving the problems that taxi drivers currently say they are facing. “What D03, VVD, Student and City and City Party 100% As far as Groningen is concerned, this conversation is mainly about thresholds that taxi drivers encounter and policy is not the starting point but the end point”, the parties conclude.
Groningen taxi drivers sound the alarm: ‘Less work, less income’ Bredase taxi drivers are tired of the quality mark: ‘A lot of frustration about’
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