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Taxi Times International - January 2015 - English

  • Text
  • Taxis
  • January
  • Uber
  • Drivers
  • Dispatch
  • Association
  • Oftedal
  • Vehicles
  • Mobility
  • Circuits

INTERNET don’t you

INTERNET don’t you think?” According to Oftedal there is 20% to 30% room in the market for Uber. “They thrive in cities like London, New York, with a bigger volume on the street. But in the Nordic countries the large volumes are in the tendered contracts. And that’s nothing for Uber. They don’t really do well in smaller cities either.” Yet, on the whole a stable taxi market –like in Swedenis growing by 2% to 5% each year, according Oftedal wants FVG to be one of the larger players in the market – and not just in the Nordic market. that the taxi trade in The Netherlands was very similar to that in Sweden. Well, why don’t we go fishing in Holland? We have to start somewhere.” Oftedal laughs, he obviously likes to compare himself to a rugged fisherman. “We have what many other companies don’t have: capital. We’re looking for a good, not too expensive catch. And if they don’t know the trade well enough, we’ll educate them. I know taxi people are quite cynical people, but we are really looking for a story with a happy end.” UBER THRIVES ON BIG MARKETS The fact that Sweden’s taxi industry has been deregulated since 1990 makes it easier to operate. Oftedal doesn’t need to ask anyone how many cabs he can put on Stockholm’s streets. “Taxi is a service company and in this deregulated industry service makes the difference. Yet, the taxi industry is going to be consolidated even if it is by different people. As a service industry it is quite close to public transport. Half it’s work is on a fixed contract, 30% of taxi work is business and 20% of the trips serve private people. That last segment is ideal for Uber. But the unfortunate thing with Uber is, that people in this country don’t like companies which pay no tax. You might say that Uber is even helping their drivers to avoid paying tax. Tax details of any cab affiliated to our company –or any other Swedish dispatching company – go straight to the taxman – via the electronic way. That’s quite a difference, FAGELVIKSGRUPPEN BECOMES CABONLINE GROUP Taxi Times is the first to reveal the new name: Stockholm’s Fagelviksgruppen (FVG) was the brainchild of Rolf Karlsson. His son Anders is still in charge of dispatching and IT-system supplier Cabonline, which merged with Henrik Forzelius’ Taxisystem. “The group was named after the street where Rolf Karlsson ran his first company”, says Oftedal. “We are looking for a new, more internationally sounding name.” Just before going to press Oftedal gave Taxi Times the new name for the group: FVG will become Cabonline Group in January 2016. The company, which was bought by London-based private investment group H.I.G. in april this year, has a turnover » We have what many other companies don’t have: capital’« to Oftedal. “But keep in mind that cities are growing and people need taxis. Perhaps we need to adjust the taxi product. Make it more into a public transport and taxi hybrid. Perhaps taxi sharing? Things will change, not just technologically, but also socially with new products and services.” COPY-PASTE Oftedal wants FVG to be one of the larger players in the market – and not just the Nordic market. The Swede clearly has his eye on Europe. “Yes, we would be happy to buy some of the competition. But that is very capital intensive. On the other hand, things move better if you are of a certain size on the international market. Uber has undoubtedly offered a higher quality at a lower price. How can we learn from that, increase our quality and keep our fares down? It is also a very well liked company. Yet it is copy-paste from what the airlines did, how they manipulated their fares based on whether you booked early or late. Keep an eye on your key figures in the long run and check your weekly numbers like cashflow, profit and other resources. The way an investor looks at a cab company is not that much different from how a taxi operator looks at his company.” wf of SEK 5 bn. and owns brands like Taxi Kurir, 020, Norges Taxi and Taxi Skane. In Sweden and Norway the company runs over 6.000 taxis (1.000 in Norway) and 2.500 minivans, carrying out 50.000 trips a day from 220 locations. The group employs 400 office staff and works with 10.000 drivers and 2.500 taxi operators. wf PHOTO: Wim Faber ‘TAXI’ IS NOW TO THE RIGHT OF THE DOT Relaxing the rules for assigning internet domains, has meant that for a few months already it has been possible to get website addresses that end in .taxi. Many other variants can be registered. People are aware of existing domain names that end either in .com, .net., .org or have a country-specific ending such as .de, .at, .nl, .dk etc. In future an internet address can also be called name. berlin or name.trip. Or even name.taxi. The ICANN organisation, which is responsible for internet management, in 2011 decided to release virtually all possible terms that do not infringe on the ICANN principles or are too similar to another name ending for registration. What followed was a bidding process for top-level domains (TLD) that lasted several years for certain name endings, including .taxi. Now .taxi has been released to register your own website, which could be the case for taxi companies, agencies or taxi industry service providers and there are specialist internet platforms for this. This includes for example www.registrieren.taxi which is operated by the publishers of Taxi Times. “A website address with the .taxi ending should be available to anyone closely connected with the taxi industry,” says Jürgen Hartmann, CEO of the Taxi Times publisher. “The German taxi and private hire association BZP for example has secured the bzp.taxi web address. This briefly and clearly states that this association represents someone involved in the taxi industry.” The Taxi Times publisher wants to use his taxi publications to inform people about the opportunity to register a .taxi website address. “After all, our magazine reaches the ‘taxi’ target group nationally and internationally and we hope to register as many website addresses within the industry before they can be accessed by speculative requests from outsiders,” explains Elke Gersdorf, who will be responsible at Taxi Times for supporting customers using registrieren.taxi. “The website address hale. taxi for example is already registered to a Spanish company whose products do not clearly indicate that they involved in the taxi industry.” Andreas Schreiner from InterNetWire, with whom Taxi Times is working on a technical level, states the additional requirements of using the .taxi domain: On the one hand, long domain names will soon be a thing of the past. Instead of “www.taxi-company-firstname-lastname. com” in future it is possible to use name. taxi. “Then the service that this company offers would be clear from the very start,” states Schreiner convincingly. “In addition, one’s own .taxi domain improves internet availability and ensures the company is found more easily by search engines. As a responsible hosting partner, we also guarantee optimal reliability. As the owner of a .taxi domain you will always be available securely.” tb HOW TO GET A .TAXI ADDRESS First step: Open a domain search page (e.g. www.registrieren.taxi); Second step: Enter your desired name and check whether this is still available with the .taxi ending. If not, you will automatically be offered similar spellings for registration. Third step: Request and register your desired address. If you already have a website, free forwarding is possible. Registrieren. taxi also offers internet newbies the opportunity to design their own site. 10 JANUARY / 2016 TAXI TAXI JANUARY / 2016 11

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