Rough taxi war heating up in Almere
Tensions are heating up among taxi drivers in Almere to a point where some drivers are calling it a taxi war, Omroep Flevoland reports. Taxi drivers are not supposed to interfere in the customer's choice of taxi, but the do so in Almere - threatening and intimidating each other to win a customer, according to the broadcaster.
One taxi driver in Almere filed assault charges late last year. He said he was attacked by another taxi driver when a customer decided to get into his taxi. According to him, violence is not an unusual occurrence. And it is not only the taxi drivers themselves who are affected by this taxi war. Customers are also regularly ripped off by taxi drivers, who deliberately take the long routes or make detours to charge customers extra.
The municipality of Almere is in talks with various taxi companies to try and ease the tensions between different drivers. A spokesperson for the municipality told the broadcaster that the municipality is mostly in a facilitating role.
The taxi drivers would like to see the municipality focus more on enforcement. They prefer the Amsterdam system, where only reputable taxi drivers have access to taxi stands behind a barrier at the airport and train station.
Almere is not the only city having problems with unhappy taxi drivers. Earlier this week angry taxi drivers blocked access to Amsterdam Central Station to show their dissatisfaction with regulations in the city. The Amsterdam police also reported a significant increase in taxi related complaints, specifically in Amsterdam city center and the Red Light District.