The rates charged by cab companies are currently also determined at government level. A working party made up of representatives of central government, the provinces and the municipalities concluded in its recent report that this regulatory system tends to have a restrictive effect whereas the Dutch Cabinet would prefer to permit taxis to make a greater contribution to the "collective demand-defined transport" in the (big) cities. If all parties meeting specific operational requirements were permitted to set up their own taxi business, this would have a beneficial effect on urban car traffic in particular. Less regulation of taxi transport would also result in stiffer competition and an enhanced taxi product. Consumers will not be prepared to make more use of taxi services until the quality is improved and the price made more competitive.
In its advisory report, the working party suggests that the Netherlands should be regarded as a single transport area, where in sharp contrast to the present situation passengers could be picked up and delivered irrespective of their location or that of the taxi company concerned. A taxi certification system should be introduced and cab drivers be issued with their own quality assurance license. Moreover the prices for transport by taxi should eventually be deregulated.
The Minister will investigate over the next few months to what extent the recommendations put forward by the working party mesh with government policy for the coming years.
Further information: Ben Wouters, phone (#)31703517119
Taxi transport can and must play a greater role in traffic and transport. For this reason the Dutch government wishes to encourage a larger and more diversified range of taxi-products.
The necessary measures will be introduced step by step. From this year onwards the taxi market will be closely monitored to establish whether it is developing in the desired direction.
At present, the licensing criteria still differ from region to region. As from 1998 a system of national requirements will be introduced for company licences, taxi-drivers' licences and vehicle inspection certificates. The requirements will correspond with those already set in other industries.
Under the present regulations the number of licences is linked to the transport requirement as determined by the local authorities in the region in question.
As from the year 2000 these rules will be relaxed so as to coordinate demand and supply. During the period between 2000 and 2002 companies will qualify for a taxi licence if they comply with a standardised entry norm. A national maximum tariff will apply from the year 2000, to which companies will be bound throughout the Netherlands.
Companies will, however, be at liberty from then on to undercut the maximum tariff. In the year 2000 the licensing and tariff system in the Netherlands will disappear altogether. As from that point only the quality requirements will still apply and the companies themselves will determine the fares.
From that point onwards the customers will also be able to see the tariffs on the in-board computer, which will replace the taxi-meter. A docket will show the total fare.
Further information: Ben Wouters, telephone +31 70 351 71 19
The above press releases are extracts relative to the taxicab industry only, as highlighted. To see full press release, visit the official site of the Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management at: