Volunteers drive with less mobile people in the AutoMaatje project. Photo for illustration. Photo: ANP/Roger Dohmen Photography
The municipality of Berg en Dal will start the voluntary transport service AutoMaatje in April. Forte Welzijn, a welfare organization in the municipality of Berg en Dal, reports this on their own website. AutoMaatje is currently busy recruiting volunteers who want to transport disabled villagers as a taxi driver.
‘More than a million people are becoming increasingly isolated from the outside world because their options to go outside are becoming increasingly limited,’ writes Forte Welzijn. ‘In the municipality of Berg en Dal, too, there are disabled and elderly residents who cannot provide their own transport. Not everyone can easily reach a bus stop or have family nearby who can drive. Then it is nice if a volunteer takes you from your home to your home for a small fee (0.35 euros per kilometer driven). appointment, for example to the doctor or the supermarket.’
ToekToek A number of villages within the municipality of Berg en Dal already have such a voluntary transport service. ‘For example, in Millingen, Leuth and Kekerdom you have the SWOM van, in Ooij, Persingen and Erlecom there is the Handyman Service and in the village of Berg en Dal there is of course the ToekToek.’ Other areas such as Beek, Groesbeek, De Horst, Breedeweg and Heilig Landstichting do not yet use such a transport service. ‘With the arrival of ANWB AutoMaatje they now also have transport.’
Forte Welzijn has been busy recruiting volunteer taxi drivers for a month now. Since then, the welfare organization has already received ten registrations. “Based on the experience data of the ANWB, we need fifteen, but we would like to be a little more flexible and ultimately aim for twenty volunteer drivers,” says Jesse Janssen of Forte Welzijn to De Gelderlander. From 15 April residents can use the voluntary transport service.
Water with the wine Abdelmonem Daoudi, who has his own taxi company in Groesbeek with Taxi 15, is not at all happy with the arrival of ANWB AutoMaatje in his local authority. He mentions the fare of 0.35 cents per kilometer driven. “Just look at competing against that,” he says. “It is a form of unfair competition, but what can you do about it?”
Daoudi is disappointed that the municipality has not looked at local taxi companies for this type of transport service. According to the entrepreneur, it was best to talk to him about a possible collaboration. He would even have wanted to compromise financially, Daoudi says. “They could also have come to us. Everything is negotiable. It would have been nice if they had approached local taxi companies for this first, especially given all the setbacks as a result of corona,” concludes Daoudi.
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