New taxi rules on their way

Taxi fares are to no longer be based just on the distance travelled but also on the time a journey takes, according to a new plan to tackle abuses in the taxi market, unveiled on Thursday.

The shake-up, first announced last year, comes at a time of growing concern over problems in the taxi sector, particularly in Amsterdam. Last weekend, a passenger died in a fight with a taxi driver on Amsterdam’s Leidesplein.
Junior transport minister Tineke Huizinga also plans to give local authorities greater powers to limit the use of authorised taxi stands to drivers who are members of a taxi alliance. Taxis will have to have a roof light and a pass but there are no plans to reintroduce licences.
Licences were scrapped in 2000 when the taxi sector was liberalised and anyone was allowed to drive a cab.
Taxis will no longer be allowed to refuse journeys which they feel are too short, the minister says. This is one of the most common complaints, particularly from tourists. Huizinga also plans to set up a national helpline for people to report problems.
The new tariff structure means drivers will be able to charge passengers more if they get stuck in bad traffic. Passengers will get a printed ticket indicating the length of the journey, fee and details about the driver when they arrive at their destination.
There is no indication yet as to when the new rules may come into effect. In particular, fitting all taxis with ticket printers is likely to be an expensive operation.

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