So the city of Eindhoven is now doing its bit to solve the taxi chaos which locals and tourists have been wrestling with ever since some bright spark in government thought abolishing taxi licences and bringing in competition would be a good thing.
We all know the chaos that little brainwave created – especially in the bigger cities. It would indeed be refreshing if local councillors, or even someone in national government, stood up and admitted the liberalisation of the taxi market was a total failure.
In the meantime, however, the bigger Dutch cities are trying to get to grips with the situation and solve the mess as best they can.
Amsterdam city council has already introduced its own ‘quality taxi’ certificate. Quality taxis – with a driver who is supposed to speak Dutch and some English, who knows the city and who is polite and helpful – are now the only taxis allowed to pick up passengers at Central Station.
Eindhoven, however, is doing it differently. The city council is planning to set up two Central Station taxi ranks – one for ‘quality taxis’ and one for ‘ordinary’ taxis.
And just to make sure there is no confusion, the council plans to employ someone – called a market master – to tell prospective passengers that they have a choice between the two and about the fees. Now that really is market forces for you.
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