News of: Thursday, April 16 2009,
After a brief period in which the problems with taxi drivers seemed to have been resolved, they are back again.
The problems are particularly:
- refusal to take short rides
- rude behaviour
- charging too high prices
These problems surfaced particularly after the liberalization of the taxi market in 2000.
Although authorities tried several times to solve the problem, all attempts eventually failed.
Especially in Amsterdam the problems are persistent, particularly on the busy taxi stands at the Central Station and Leidseplein.
Several journalists have found out that it is impossible to get a short ride (rides up to 3 kilometers / 2 miles).
The current alderman responsible for the taxi market, has announced extra surveillance at the taxi stands, but it is clear that not much can really be done.
All political parties in the Amsterdam city council have called for action. The latest idea is to install a counter, where clients can buy a taxi ticket for their ride, which they can give to the taxi driver. This system is used on various train stations and airports around the world. Mr Gerson, the alderman responsible, has said to investigate the suggestion.
Even the Amsterdam Welcome team (volunteers who walk around in Amsterdam to advise tourists) have been reported to advise to avoid the taxi stand at the Central Station, and use public transport instead.
Visiting tourists may consider to take a taxi straight from the airport, or find out which tram or bus goes to their accommodation.
The national public transport site (http://journeyplanner.9292.nl) now also provides information in English.
Example: if you arrive at Central Station, and you need to go to your accommodation at the address Prinsengracht 1000 (in Dutch, the house number follows the street name), you can use the journey planner as follows:
1. Change the 'From' field from 'Address' to 'Trainstation'
2. Fill out 'Amsterdam Centraal Station' (in Dutch, with double 'a' in 'Centraal') in the From field.
3. In the 'To' section, in the field 'Street nr', you fill in 'Prinsengracht 1000'
4. In City you fill in 'Amsterdam'
5. Change time and date, if required.
6. Click the button 'Advise me'
Tickets can be purchased in the tram or bus, or in the GVB office that is in front of the Central Station.
The online journey planner can be used for all public transport, throughout the Netherlands.
9292 Public transport info