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Yvonne Ton

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The new Gelderse bus stop taxi service RRReis had to contend with some start-up problems after its launch. According to the province of Gelderland, the situation has since improved. Because use is still disappointing, the province will soon start a marketing campaign to increase awareness of the shared taxi.

The new bus stop taxi started on 3 April as a successor to the public transport safety net that the municipalities provided for this in combination with target group transport. At the beginning of last year, the provincial government decided to continue to offer shared taxi transport, but in an improved form under the name haltetaxiRRReis, as a flexible addition to public transport. It is intended as a facility for pre and post transport. The bus stop must offer an alternative if walking or cycling is not possible.

The name of the new bus stop is in line with RRReis, the name under which public transport is offered in Gelderland, Flevoland and Overijssel. . Mobility company Qarin has been chosen after a tender for the execution of the transport, the ride acceptance, the planning and the monitoring. The flexible shared taxi does not run according to a timetable, but can be booked in various ways: via the RRReis travel planner or app, via 9292 or by telephone.

Connection to 9292 At the moment there are about fifty users of the bus stop, says a spokeswoman for the province of Gelderland. That number is not yet at the level that was expected because the reservation system was not yet working optimally. “That has to do with the connection to the platform 9292. That integration was delayed. That is now better and then marketing can also start and we can give it more publicity”, according to the spokeswoman.

According to her, the travelers who use RRReis are satisfied with the new service.

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A taxi driver who in May 100 in Breda had a 20-year-old cyclist killed, must definitively serve his eight-month prison sentence. The man had lodged an appeal in cassation with the Supreme Court after the court in Den Bosch imposed a prison sentence on him last year. The Supreme Court has declared his appeal in cassation inadmissible. This means that his sentence is now irrevocable.

The taxi driver drove at high speed at night three years ago on the Westerparklaan in Breda. Presumably his speed was above 100 kilometers per hour, while on that road a maximum speed of 30 kilometers per hour applies. When the man ignored a red traffic light because he was distracted by looking at his phone, he hit a cyclist. The cycling man, who had the green light, was so badly injured that he died shortly after the collision.

Severe sentence on appeal In the first instance, the court in Breda sentenced the taxi driver in 2021 to community service of 240 hours and a six-month suspended prison sentence. In the appeal that the public prosecutor had lodged, the court in Den Bosch made it eight months in prison and a driving ban of three years, of which one year was conditional and a probationary period of three years.

Now that the Supreme Court has declared the taxi driver’s appeal in cassation inadmissible, he must really serve that prison sentence.

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The four Kempen municipalities of Bergeijk, Bladel, Reusel-De Mierden and Eersel have recently given Willemsen-de Koning notice of default due to dissatisfaction with the quality of the current student transport. Alderman Frank Rombouts of the municipality of Reusel-De Mierden reported this earlier this week in a council meeting.

The alderman answered questions from the full council. Several groups had received complaints from parents of children who use the student transport. Students would often be picked up and dropped off late without parents being informed that the driver is late. As a result, parents are repeatedly forced to help themselves, when it is actually not convenient. The councilors also heard that the drivers were often late because they had to come from a great distance and therefore regularly get stuck in traffic jams.

New carrier after the summer Because a different transport company has been chosen after a tender from the new school year, the municipal council of the college mainly wants to know how this wants to prevent the same problems from occurring at the new transport company.

“It’s a sad situation. We have been working on it for months,” said alderman Frank Rombouts. In response to the complaints, the municipality already sent a notice of default to the current carrier Willemsende Koning at the beginning of June. Eersel, Bladel and Bergeijk did the same. Later that month, there was a meeting between the responsible aldermen of the four municipalities and the transport company. Since then, there has been weekly consultation between municipal officials with the company in order to monitor progress and solve new problems more quickly.

Since the municipality has taken action, alderman Rombouts van Reusel- The Mierden did see a slight decrease in the complaints. “But it’s not zero yet. We stay on top of it. Through the weekly consultation we try to increase the pressure.”

Financial claims parents The municipality is further from plan to recover the parents’ financial claims against the transportation company. If that is not possible, De Reusel-De Mierden will consider compensating the parents. Rombouts: “We don’t think it’s right that parents are at the bar for this. It is a task that the municipality must carry out or finance.”

The alderman only wanted to discuss the current situation in the council meeting. The city council will receive a letter from him containing more information about what the council has agreed with the new transporter Taxibedrijf van der Wijst from Bladel.

In the municipality of Bladel, the city council passed a motion earlier this year. adopted with the initiative to conduct a biennial satisfaction survey among students (and their parents) who use student transport.

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Bolt started a summer competition in Amsterdam this week in which taxi drivers can win weekly cash prizes in July and August if they drive many trips via the Bolt platform. At the end of the period, the three best drivers also receive top prizes in the overall classification. Bolt says he wants to reward loyal drivers with the competition. The FNV union calls the initiative dangerous.

The entire prize pool for the so-called Bolt Super League is large 26. euros. The main prize in the overall ranking is 7.500 euros. A weekly winner will receive 1.500 euros. There are also weekly prizes for those who finish in second through eighth place.

The competition is based on points. Drivers logged into the Bolt platform can earn points for successfully completed journeys. The condition is that they drive at least ten hours a week for the platform. This year the focus is on Amsterdam. Other cities where Bolt is active may follow in the future.

Reward drivers The initiative is not specifically intended to attract new drivers, says Lars Speekenbrink, country manager Netherlands at Bolt. “We would like to reward our most active drivers during the summer period within the financial possibilities that we have.”

When asked whether Bolt could not do better to raise the rates, Speekenbrink answered that in the past has happened for years. “If you look at the price level we are at now, that is already 26 percent higher than two years ago. We try to find the right balance between supply and demand. It is not necessarily the case that a driver will earn more if prices go up. It is ultimately about what you get per kilometer, but also how many trips you can actually drive. We look for a certain regularity to adjust the prices, depending on supply and demand. But in the end, a driver must of course drive profitably per kilometer.”

Health Bolt states in the conditions that health and safety comes first in the competition. Drivers are not allowed to drive more than an average of ten hours a day in order to participate. Speekenbrink acknowledges that it is of course not healthy for drivers to push the limits and work more than fifty to sixty hours a week just to qualify for the prizes. Bolt evaluates at least weekly and will address drivers about it, he says.

“But the reality is that we don’t have drivers who do that. We have, of course, looked at that before. So far we haven’t seen that, so I don’t expect that to happen.”

‘Dangerous’ FNV is very skeptical about the Bolt Super League. “It’s really dangerous,” said driver Amrit Sewgobind. “I do have concerns about that. It encourages unsafe driving.” He recalls a series of serious accidents involving Uber taxis several years ago. After that, the Municipality of Amsterdam and Uber made agreements to improve road safety in the city.

Aside from safety, Sewgobind fears the Bolt competition will rush drivers. “It is a way to manage performance and to display a certain behaviour. Driving a taxi is not a game to which you have to link a bonus system, but a serious profession in which safety must come first.” He believes that the drivers should receive a good hourly wage for all the time worked and not just for certain journeys.

Uber The union is generally critical of platform work. Last month, FNV filed a lawsuit against Uber. The union demanded a penalty of 100.26 euros from the court for each day that taxi company Uber does not comply with a court ruling from last September. In it, the court in Amsterdam ruled that Uber drivers are employees and that the taxi collective agreement must therefore be complied with. In turn, Uber went to court to demand from the Ministry of Social Affairs that the collective labor agreement for taxi transport no longer applies to the entire sector. Judgments in both cases are expected in the course of this month and early next month.

Amstelveen recently imposed a fine of 2000 euros per month on Maasstad Regie Centrale (MRC) because the municipality, despite an earlier the carrier’s improvement plan is still dissatisfied with the way in which WMO transport is carried out. If no further improvement occurs, the municipality is considering legal action against the company. MRC says that after start-up problems, the transport is now well on its way, which would also appear from a latest report.

The municipal council reports the fine in response to questions from the Civic Interests Amstelveen (BBA) group. In April, the municipal council itself sounded the alarm because of the many complaints about the new carrier that started on January 1 of this year in Amstelveen and Aalsmeer after a joint tender from both municipalities. Residents who rely on social assistance transport mainly complained that they had to wait an hour or more before being picked up. Communication about delays also left a lot to be desired.

Not satisfied yet MRC was subsequently imposed an ultimatum from both municipalities to come up with an improvement plan. That plan has since been drawn up and the councilors of BBA in Amstelveen asked a few weeks ago whether the announced measures had already led to a decrease in complaints. The municipal council said in a letter last Tuesday that there is indeed progress, but that it is still not satisfied. “The biggest and most worrisome problem is getting enough qualified staff,” said the college of mayor and aldermen. The municipal council also writes that it still receives too many complaints about the late pick-up and drop-off of users of the social assistance taxi.

In the improvement plan, MRC has announced measures such as the deployment of extra vehicles and personnel. , allowing employees to work longer hours, more cooperation with other carriers, smarter planning of journeys and properly informing customers about delays. Improvements have also been made at the customer contact center and a booking app has been introduced.

Award requirements The BBA council has the impression that the In the tender process, the municipality of Amstelveen mainly looked at price and too much too little at quality. The city council disputes that. “The request for quotation 10 includes requirements. Part of it monitors the quality of transport. By setting quality requirements as criteria for registration, it was not necessary to award separately for quality”, says the commission.

Also the requirement that the carrier must be in possession of a TX- The municipal council sees the quality mark as an extra guarantee for quality.

Aalsmeer The tender documents show that Amstelveen in the joint tender for Amstelveen and Aalsmeer indeed did not use a weighting model in which price and quality counted for a certain percentage. Tenderers had to meet all 10 criteria. Parties that met this were eligible for assessment based on the lowest rate. The lowest bidder would be awarded the contract, unless several parties had offered the same low rate in their tender. In that case, a lottery would be drawn.

The municipal council in Aalsmeer, like that in Amstelveen, recently informed the city council that it was not yet satisfied with WMO transport and that it was considering legal action. if the agreements in the contract are not fulfilled.

‘Wmo transport is now well on track’ In a In response to the reports from both municipalities, MRC director Sjaak de Winter says that after a difficult start-up period, a lot has changed for the better. “We are pleased that, after initial problems, we now have WMO transport in Amstelveen and Aalsmeer properly back on track. The number of complaints has fallen substantially, accessibility has improved considerably and journeys are carried out much more punctually.”

There is always room for improvement, says De Winter. “But we are especially pleased that the customers are now regaining their confidence and are also complimenting the improvements. Employees on behalf of Amstelveen and Aalsmeer have seen all the progress with us and are positive about these developments. Fines that are imposed are the result of contractual agreements and agreements must be complied with. So we understand that, but that in itself is not an incentive for us to do our best. Delivering a good performance is what we commit ourselves to on a daily basis and we strive to do this to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.”

Earlier this week, MRC submitted an up-to-date report to the municipality of Amstelveen from which all improvements become clear. A spokesperson for the municipality confirmed receipt of that report. He says that Amstelveen will look at it and then re-evaluate WMO transport.

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Users of ANWB, Be-Mobile, Hyundai, Inrix, Kia and TomTom will soon receive a warning via the navigation system in their car or their app that a vehicle with a flashing light and siren is approaching. This notification also makes clear what type of vehicle it concerns and from which side it is coming. Drivers are also drawn to other potentially dangerous situations on the road.

The initiative comes from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Under the name ‘Safety Priority Services’, the ministry will be working with six parties over the next three years to provide road traffic with better and more timely safety warnings. In doing so, the ministry is responding to the fact that many motorists are already using digital information on the road. Such information can also be used to improve road safety.

Ghost drivers, accidents and road works It is not only to alerts about approaching ambulances and police and fire engines. Drivers are also warned about other hazards on the road, such as wrong-way drivers, traffic jams, obstacles on the road, road works, accidents, slippery conditions, extreme weather conditions, closed lanes and road inspectors and emergency and emergency services along the road. In addition, drivers receive information about, among other things, the maximum speed.

With ‘Safety Priority Services’, the Netherlands is already anticipating European legislation that will apply in 2025. . In this way, the companies involved can already gain experience with sending safety warnings. To guarantee the privacy of drivers, the six parties involved are only allowed to share data with other organizations for road safety. They must first ask for permission. If users agree, that data will be anonymized.

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

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 almost 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 is also trying to deploy people who find it difficult to find a job. This includes people with limited education, long-term job seekers and candidates over years old. 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. Connexxion has already provided student transport in the Eindhoven region, one of the two plots, for the past nine years. 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.

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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