Yvonne Ton


As of the new school year in September, Connexxion Taxi Services will be deploying almost a hundred electric taxi buses for the transport of about 800 students in Eindhoven and Waalre surroundings. On Monday, both municipalities signed the agreement with Connexxion. Transdev’s subsidiary has been providing student transport in Eindhoven for the past few years and, following a tender in the new contract, has now also added Waalre.

Director Lucien Brouwers of Connexxion Taxi Services is pleased with the extension and expansion of the contract for special education students. His company is purchasing nearly a hundred new electric taxis and taxibuses especially for this assignment. From September 5, about trips per day will be made for this type of student transport. “Eindhoven is an important region for us. That is why we are happy to invest in an electric fleet.” In the tender, the municipalities asked the tenderers to carry out transport as sustainably as possible.

Also WMO transport electrically Connexxion also drives all social assistance transport in Eindhoven (the Taxbus) and does this almost entirely with electric vehicles. Brouwers says he is always looking for opportunities to make target-group transport more sustainable. “We want to be a forerunner and that fits in well with the objectives of the municipalities.”

A strong presence in the Southeast Brabant region with a number of multi-year contracts helps, according to Brouwers to attract sufficient staff. In the tight labor market, the challenge is greater than ever, he says. “It is important that we create stability. This is possible with student transport, regional transport and public transport. It’s nice if you can offer employees perspective.”

Distance to the labor market In close collaboration with the municipality of Eindhoven the carrier also tries to deploy people who find it difficult to find a job. This includes people with limited education, long-term job seekers and candidates over the year. Every new driver from this target group first receives training and an experienced colleague as a supervisor.

The agreement between the municipalities of Eindhoven and Waalre and Connexxion was concluded after a tender procedure. A total of five parties had registered. For the past nine years, Connexxion has already provided student transport in the Eindhoven region, one of the two plots. The company will continue to do so in the new contract and, moreover, Waalre and the surrounding area (the other plot) has now been added. The contract will start after the summer and will run for five years.

Express Eindhoven Airport Taxi

Foundation Buzz010 has again awarded the transport of students and supervisors within the Rotterdam region to Nooteboom Tours for the coming years. Buzz organizes short excursions to all kinds of educational destinations in the area, such as museums, theatres, gardens, art institutions and petting zoos. The students are taken there by bus and picked up again.

The duration of the contract is two years with an option to extend for another three times a year . There were three tenderers for the contract. The choice ultimately fell on Nooteboom. Buzz gave the most weight to quality in the tendering procedure. That criterion applied to 30 percent. Price counted for 30 percent.

New Experiences The starting point of Buzz010 is to allow children in primary education to gain new experiences outside of school with all kinds of excursions in Rotterdam and the surrounding area. The students go there by bus. Buzz arranges bus transport for the schools and has a contract with a transport company – Nooteboom – to carry out the trips.

Buzz is paid for by the municipality of Rotterdam, the participating school boards and Stichting De Verre Bergen, a social organization. Since the school year 2018/2019 Buzz30 can be used.

The municipality of Geertruidenberg calls on users of the shared taxi to book their rides in time. A shortage of drivers affects transport and the quality of the shared taxi suffers as a result. This applies not only in Geertruidenberg, but also in the other fifteen municipalities that participate in Share Taxi West Brabant.

The share taxi sees the number of applications increasing again after the corona crisis. , while less capacity is available. Many of the transport companies have laid off taxi drivers during the pandemic because most of the transport was at a standstill. “Our taxi companies are doing everything they can to recruit new drivers, but that is difficult due to the scarcity of personnel”, the municipality of Geertruidenberg and the Deeltaxi West-Brabant state on their websites.

Reservation period To relieve the transport companies, they ask the customers of the shared taxi to reserve rides in time, preferably at least four hours in advance. In addition, the advice is to travel outside peak hours as much as possible and also to plan trips outside peak times. Canceling a ride that is no longer necessary after further consideration also helps to plan better.

Shared taxi transport in sixteen municipalities in West Brabant (including Geertruidenberg) is carried out by PZN, a subsidiary of Transdev Netherlands. PZN directs the transport and works together with a number of local carriers.

“Staff shortage is a national issue,” says a Transdev spokeswoman. “We all fish in the same pond.” There are several reasons for the staff shortage. Not only is the demand for transport increasing again, but drivers are also taking delayed holidays, for example. In addition, the aging population plays an important role.

Recruitment According to her, Transdev is doing everything it can to find new drivers, not only in West Brabant, but also in all other regions in the country where the group provides transport for target groups. This is done, for example, by organizing job fairs, deploying recruiters and covering taxi vans with vacancies. Nationally, Transdev needs at least 150 drivers for taxi transport.

All these efforts also yield candidates, but not enough. Moreover, the profession is not suitable for everyone, given the often vulnerable passenger group, says the spokeswoman.

For the time being, Transdev has only made agreements in West Brabant with the commissioning municipalities of the shared taxi to pick up customers. call to book their ride well in time. According to the spokeswoman, it cannot be ruled out that tailor-made agreements will also be made in other regions as a result of the driver shortage.

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The introduction of temporary measures in Valys transport due to staff shortages at taxi companies has led to angry and disappointed reactions from travelers. They now have to book their ride longer in advance. Complaints are being received in several places, such as patient organizations and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).

Because there are insufficient drivers available at the executive transport companies, temporary measures have recently been applied to Valys transport. This is intended for travelers with a mobility limitation who want to make social-recreational trips outside their own region. Users wishing to travel Monday through Thursday must reserve their round trip at least hours in advance. On the remaining days of the week even 48 hours in advance. Valys is performed by Transvision.

‘Predictable transport’ The measures taken in coordination with the Ministry of VWS apply in any case until August 6. It is then considered whether it is necessary to renew them or whether they can expire. “We can imagine that these measures are drastic for you. We must take these measures to provide you with reliable and predictable transport, as you have come to expect from us,” Valys writes to its customers. Valys also warns that, despite the measures, it cannot be ruled out that pass holders will have to wait longer for a taxi or that the carrier can call with the request to carry out the ride earlier or later.

Everyone(in), the network for people with a disability or chronic illness, has already received a number of angry reports about the limited availability of transport and the way in which Valys communicates about this. As a result, travelers feel limited in their options. Everyone can well imagine that. “Everyone(in)’s position is that transport is a right and that the services provided by Valys currently do not meet the requirements,” the organization says in a response to its own website. Everyone says that they are in talks with the ministry about the problems. Upon request, the umbrella organization cannot provide an exact insight into the amount of complaints, because these are reported to several of the affiliated patient associations.

Increase Also on consumer platforms and on Twitter, users are complaining about long journey times, drivers who showed up late or not at all, but also about the new rules that require reservations longer in advance. Several reporters say that they were not informed about this by letter or e-mail. They only found out when they wanted to book a ride, but that turned out to be no longer possible.

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport also receives complaints about Valys. In the past month there were between ten and twenty, says a spokeswoman. According to her, there has been an increase since the introduction of the temporary measures. “We take those complaints seriously and we are in constant contact with Transvision.” She points out that the number of journeys has increased considerably since the abolition of the corona measures, while at the same time there is a shortage on the labor market and high absenteeism. Booking longer in advance should relieve the pressure.

Sectors compete with each other Transvision confirms that reading and sees demand for transport increasing . Due to the national staff shortages, supply and demand no longer match each other. Attracting new qualified personnel is also difficult, says a spokeswoman, because there are shortages in all kinds of sectors and they compete with each other in the search for employees.

“Nevertheless, providing predictable and reliable transport means the cardholder is our number one priority. We have taken the temporary measures to be able to provide for this and to enable our carriers to match their available capacity as closely as possible to the transport demand of the pass holders.” Transvision says it realizes that this has a lot of impact on cardholders. “That is why we periodically evaluate the effects of the measure and, in consultation with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, we decide whether it is necessary to continue the measures after these eight weeks.”

The number of offenses in taxi transport for special target groups has increased this year compared to previous years. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) has come to this conclusion on the basis of inspections over the past three months. The focus was on safety.

Spread over thirteen days in April, May and June, the inspection service checked a total of 193 wheelchair buses and 22 buses for student transport. Thirty violations were discovered. The seat belt was not or not properly used and there was loose load in the taxi vans.

In eight vehicles the seat belt was not or not properly fastened. The drivers of the vans in question have been warned. Most of the violations (22 times) involved luggage, empty scooters, wheelchairs, rollators and unused securing material that was loose in the vehicles. Eighteen drivers received a warning for this and four received an official report.

Be careful The target group transport can be safer, is the conclusion of the ILT based on the audit findings. The Inspectorate calls on drivers to be careful to prevent accidents.

Due to the corona pandemic, the ILT checked less intensively on target group transport during that period due to the vulnerability of the passengers who use it. to make of. Nevertheless, as a result of the checks in recent months, the Inspectorate has seen an increase in violations compared to previous years.

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The battle between the trade unions FNV Toer and CNV Vakmensen and the employers’ association Bus transport Netherlands over a new collective labor agreement for the coach sector is hardening. Now that the two parties are not coming closer together, the employers are threatening to work with an alternative union with which they can come to an agreement. It is a reaction to the unions’ intention to terminate the current collective labor agreement.

There is no such alternative union yet, but every union that set up in the short term by a number of employees in the sector – however small – is in principle acceptable as a negotiating party. FNV and CNV are furious about this “shameless” move by the employers. “Any cowboy can present themselves now. Despite the current labor market, your employer acts like a king”, FNV Toer writes in a newsletter to the members.

Pause arrangement The employers respond with their proposal to possibly talk to another union to a recent joint letter from FNV and CNV. In their letter, the two unions had asked employers to reconsider their final offer at the beginning of May. In the eyes of the unions, that offer is “ridiculous” and “unrealistic”, especially because they think the proposed four-year term is too long and the incremental wage increase of 9 percent in total too low. The unions threatened to terminate the current collective agreement for private bus transport and the collective agreement for FSO (Fonds Scholing en Ordening) as of January 1 2022, with the intent of ‘rather no collective agreement than a bad collective agreement’.

In their response to the letter from the unions, the employers state that they will not withdraw their “all reasonable final offer”. Points on which unions and employers cannot agree is the so-called 5/6 break arrangement.The unions want to abolish this, but according to the employers, such a drastic and expensive system change can only be made if some more time is allocated. a somewhat longer term for the new collective labor agreement should be chosen.

Other union Because the unions have announced intend to cancel the collective labor agreement if an agreement is not reached, the employers write that they are forced to look for another trade union in order to make agreements about a new collective agreement O. They say they hope it won’t come to that.

The unions will now present the employers’ collective agreement final offer with a negative advice to their members for the coming period. If the majority votes against, actions will be taken.

Busvervoer Nederland does not want to provide any further explanation on the collective labor agreement conflict.

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The municipality of Amsterdam has rightly withdrawn the Taxxxi permit and the associated bus lane exemption for a taxi driver in that city. The man lost the summary proceedings that he had filed with the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal, in which he had objected to the decision of the municipality.

The Taxxxi permit is necessary for drivers to be able to drive on the boarding market in Amsterdam. The drivers whose license has been revoked made a serious mistake at the end of February this year. He passed an intersection at very high speed, did not give way to pedestrians who wanted to cross at a crosswalk, drove at more than 92 kilometers per hour on a regular bus lane and a tram track and ignored including the red traffic light for trams.

The police found that he was no longer suitable to drive a taxi because he had exhibited dangerous and antisocial traffic behaviour. His driver’s license and line manager exemption have been recovered and he has been registered for an Education Measure Behavior (EMG), a mandatory course at the CBR for drivers who have behaved at risk on the road. The judge sentenced the driver to a fine in March. At the end of April, the municipality of Amsterdam withdrew its Taxxxi permit after a report from the police.

Major financial consequences During the hearing At the judge, the man said that he deeply regretted his behavior, but that the withdrawal of the license would have major financial consequences for him. He is also the breadwinner and takes care of two young children. Moreover, he had received his driving license back from the police judge.

The judge showed understanding for the personal situation, but emphasized once again that it was a serious traffic offense for which he had to undergo a compulsory behavioral course. has been imposed on. According to the judge, the law offers little scope to deviate from the decision of the municipality to withdraw the bus lane exemption, which also means that the Taxxxi permit will expire. The judge therefore rejected the man’s objection.

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Transport company Ambutax from Veghel will take over industry partner Willems Business Cars from Hoogeloon as of 1 July. With this, Ambutax wants to strengthen its position in the region around Eindhoven, Den Bosch and Veghel. Earlier this week, the management boards of the Brabant family businesses signed the takeover agreement.

The two companies are a good match. “At Ambutax it’s all about reliability, flexibility and safety. Willems shares those standards and values, which is why I think their services fit in seamlessly with ours,” says Sjors van de Veerdonk, director of Ambutax. “We are broadening our horizons with a strong partner.” The brothers Rob and Geert-Jan Willems agree. “We leave our company in good hands.”

Part of multi-year plan Van de Veerdonk took over Ambutax a year ago from his parents. He has been working there since 2011. The takeover of Willems was already part of the multi-year plan that he made when he took over, but the intention was only to do it after five or six years. When Willems knocked on Ambutax’s door himself, Van de Veerdonk was eager to talk to the company, even though it happened in the middle of the corona crisis.

Rob and Geert-Jan Willems took charge of their family taxi company. in 1993 about. Over time, the company has increasingly focused on business transport and has said goodbye to wheelchair transport, which Willems did at first. The company has about employees and they can all work at Ambutax.

Possible new name After the takeover, the pitches will remain the same for the time being, although the drivers and customer service will be managed from Veghel. The intention is that the two companies will eventually merge completely, possibly under a different – ​​somewhat more international – name. This must be realized at the latest at the end 2023 or at the beginning 2024. The Willems brothers will remain involved for the time being to ensure a smooth takeover.

Ambutax was founded in 1962, albeit not yet under that name. As with Willems, the focus has shifted over time to business transport for companies. In addition, Ambutax provides private transport and medical transport for, among others, general practitioners and laboratories. Like Willems, the carrier has about employees. There are currently no occupation problems, says Van de Veerdonk. Both companies have many employees who have been with them for a long time.

Express Eindhoven Airport Taxi

In the third round of negotiations for a new collective labor agreement for Healthcare Transport and Taxi earlier this month, trade unions and employers have not really come together yet. According to FNV, the employers’ offer has improved slightly, but still far from enough.

According to FNV negotiator Meindert Gorter, the positions of both parties are still “miles away.” ” apart. “After a day of negotiations, the employers’ proposal is scanty, but has already improved. But a wage offer of less than 3 percent per year and no price compensation for inflation is below par. And then the remuneration for the flexible deployment of employees must also come from that 3 percent. There is already some movement on sick days, such as the abolition of the waiting day for the first sick report. But being ill is not a choice, that fine must be removed.”

Max/flex regulation After the opening round of the Collective labor agreement negotiations, which FNV calls “seriously disappointing”, the union had included a number of drivers during the third meeting who, prior to the negotiations, made clear with their personal stories what they consider important in the new collective labor agreement. Higher wages, for example, and no need to hand in wages in the event of illness.

The unions also want more clarity about the max/flex arrangement. The intention was to improve the working conditions of employees with this scheme. In practice, according to Gorter, some employees interpret the scheme in a different way than the trade unions, to the detriment of the employees.

Petition ‘real wages for real work’ The union leader also denounces the role of governments, who all put small contracts on the market that are paid for from different flows of money and mainly look at price. As a result, drivers can only work few hours for a meager salary, so that they can barely make ends meet.

To draw more attention to the problems in the sector, FNV will soon start a petition among the denominator ‘real pay for real work’. With this, the union wants to reach a broad target group: union members and non-union members and non-union members, but also, for example, customers who use healthcare transport.

At the end of this week and the end of next week there will also be Negotiations planned for the new taxi collective labor agreement again.

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Six taxi drivers were arrested Friday night by the police in Amsterdam for driving under the influence of drugs. The police carried out a major drug check, together with the Team Taxi Business of the municipality of Amsterdam.

A total of fifty drivers were checked. One of them refused a blood test. Subsequently, the police confiscated his driver’s license and driver’s card.

Other violations The police held the same night with cars that were not recognizable were also police vehicles to monitor taxis around the checkpoint. An official report was drawn up 28 for matters such as driving behaviour, technical defects and fraudulent acts. Two regular bus exemptions were also taken and one driving license was recovered due to a speeding violation.