CONFERENCE Reserve your .taxi address now! NEW! The cards are being reshuffled! .taxi The ‘Taxi-Zukunft’ congress organised by taxi association BZP deserved to have more participants. Does the taxi trade live mainly in the here and now, or is a participation fee of even € 150 too high a price? rising. If taxi rides are not regulated by a fixed rate, it can get very expensive for taxi customers. While taxi rates set by the state, like in Germany, protect the consumer, they offer the taxi trade little incentive to improve its quality. “In a price-controlled market, it is not worth offering better service than anyone else because you cannot earn more”, said politician Thomas Jarzombek, a member of the German Parliament, in the third panel of the event. So price control is a disadvantage for the customer because although he might get a stable and consistent regional rate, the quality will vary widely. Jarzombek gives the example of the cities of Berlin and Düsseldorf. He praises the impeccable vehicle quality in the city on the Rhine. At the same time, he criticises the recent fare increase of 30%, which he considers to be too high. It is a shame that none of the participants pointed out this contradiction to the politician. In any case, there was no more time. Plenty of other approaches were brought up during the hour-long discussion. For example, the problem of insufficient capacity. The taxi trade could react to “long waiting times at taxi stands“ with criteriabased price differentiation, suggests Jarzombek again. In this case, taxi rates could be raised or reduced more flexibly. For example: a cheap taxi subscription that »It is up to politicians to ‘define standards for technological platforms. In cooperation with the taxi trade.« Lars Klingbeil elderly women could use to get to church and back on Sundays for less. Participant Christian Holzhäuser doubts that flexible taxi rates would truly benefit the less wealthy. “The price differentiation will only benefit big companies, which put pressure on the taxi companies due to the high volume of trips.” To compensate for the lost profits resulting from these rides, more would have to be charged for occasional rides (when that same elderly woman goes to the doctor, for example). IN THE WEB OF REGULATIONS The congress participants and BZP vice president Peter Zander asked which party within the fragmented taxi trade would be responsible for setting more flexible rates. Only taxi circuits could do this in urban areas but they would immediately run into legal problems with competition law. It quickly became clear during the discussion that even simple ideas are thwarted by the complex web of regulations. But this is not a justification for leaving everything the way it is and continuing as before. “There is no point in refusing”, says politician Lars Klingbeil, like Jarzombek a member of the German Parliament. As an expert in digitisation, and in view of competitors such as Uber and others, he believes it is up to politicians to “define standards for technological platforms. In cooperation with the taxi trade”, he adds after a brief pause. He thinks it is not too late to deal with the change together. jh FOTO: Taxi TImes Domain names ending in .taxi have been available for purchase since 2015. Reserve your domain name* at www.registrieren.taxi: • Examplename.taxi • Circuit-examplecity.taxi “If you are involved in the taxi trade, you should show it in your domain name. This is why we’ve reserved the domain name www.taxi-times.taxi.” Jürgen Hartmann, Managing Director of Taxi Times Publishing Reserve your preferred domain name while it is still available: www.registrieren.taxi 14 JANUARY / 2016 TAXI *The new .taxi domain names can be redirected to an existing web address.