Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 17:44
Public transit firm launching Uber competitor in Amsterdam
Connexxion is launching its own taxi service in Amsterdam this year, the company’s CEO Bart Schmeink told BNR. He did not give away many details about the service but mentioned that the idea was inspired by initiatives like Uber, and that it could launch over the summer. “It is certainly not a regular taxi service, where you are waiting for a passenger, like at a taxi stand,” Schmeink said. “We are coming with a new product to Amsterdam in the third quarter of the year.” The intention is for the project to expand nationwide afterwards, according to the CEO. Reduced restrictions on taxi services in the Netherlands were proposed by the Infrastructure Ministry on Tuesday. Taxi meters are not necessary under the plan, if a price is agreed upon by the driver and passenger in advance. Taxi drivers will not have to print receipts, carry rate cards, or always have proof of taxi license registration on them, as digital innovations are valid substitutes. Schmeink is positive about the proposed changes to legislation. “Uber shows us that demand is more focused now, and people with apps are more likely to manage their mobility,” he said. “The traditional taxi product that we have now, or the traditional public transport, should disappear in the coming years.” Connexxion is already one of the largest players on the Dutch taxi market. “It is now time to turn to other combinations and products in the market,” Schmeink said.