Some 20% of the country’s estimated 11,000 taxis have not yet been fitted with the controversial new meter system which will go into nationwide use on Friday, news agency ANP reported.
Drivers without a meter can be fined up to €440. Junior transport minister Tineke Huizinga, who has already delayed the introduction of the new meters for three months, told MPs she would not extend the deadline again.
The new metering system means passengers will no longer pay for time spent in traffic jams or waiting at red lights. Instead, they will pay a €7.50 fee for up to two kilometres and then a fixed rate for the actual distance travelled thereafter.
The minister says the new system will bring more transparency into the sector and allow passengers to better calculate how much their journey will cost. According to some surveys, Dutch taxi fees are among the most expensive in the world.
On Tuesday it also emerged that Amsterdam taxi firm TCA is to sue the transport ministry for damages because of problems with the introduction of new meters. TCA says 95% of its 1,900 affiliated drivers had made the switch by last November but technical problems meant the new meters were not working properly and had to be readjusted.
The introduction of the new meters is the government’s latest attempt to improve the reputation of the Dutch taxi sector. In particular, Amsterdam drivers have been accused of cheating passengers with rip-off fares.
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