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Taxi Times International - January 2015 - English

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

CONFERENCE CONFERENCE

CONFERENCE CONFERENCE This year’s Taxiworld Turkey will have a more international feel thanks to its international conference on February 5. EUROCAB (ALSO) LOOKS AT TRADE ISSUES It is often said that Eurocab is only a PR-exercise for Austrosoft/FMS in which the rather archaic and lengthy oral presentations of product innovations take centre stage. MAJOR ROLE FOR GTN AT TAXIWORLD TURKEY From February 4-6, 2016, the second year of trade show Taxiworld Turkey will draw a much larger international taxi crowd. But this time the event slowly but surely seems to be evolving into something of a proper taxi conference, developing all sorts of ideas and solutions for pressing trade problems. The conference cocktail of the first day and the workshops on the second day provided quite a lot of food for thought. Introduced by BZP-president Michael Müller, Matt Daus’ presentation gave a great overview of the app-history since 2009 and mentioned a few barriers to the further expansion of Uber. The lawyer and president of the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) from New York, personally invited by Koen Van Oorschot, not only single-handedly doubled his speaking time, but also showed how the pending class action in the California courts could cause a major headache for Uber. The question is: are Uber drivers employees or independent contractors. If they fit in the latter category, then technically Uber has no say over what they do and how they deal with the trips they get from the app. But it is a well-known fact that Uber drivers are obliged to take each trip which is offered by the app. Drivers who don’t or who misbehave in the eyes of Uber, loose their appconnection. If the judge in this very large class action lawsuit rules that Uber drivers are employees, then Uber is liable for paying taxes and social contributions for these drivers. “It could be the iceberg that sinks the Titanic”, said Daus. DIFFERENT MOBILITY APPROACH As the police–escort to the Antwerp mayor’s reception was waiting, there was no time left for the planned presentation on the Global Taxi Network (GTN). Fortunately BZP-president Michael Müller had already »Class action could be the iceberg that sinks the Titanic« Matt Daus briefed the audience on the importance of this IRU-initiative and reiterated the importance of providing quality to customers in the taxi industry. “With digitization there are many changes coming, but the new and well-funded apps on the taxi market are not perfect by any means. The taxi trade has much to offer, particulary via its growing GTN-network and its quality.” Starting from two current megatrends – digitization and demographic changes (urbanization and a sparsely populated rural area) management consultant Paul Gerlach had mapped out a different form of public transport based on virtual routes, service on demand and the use of different types of vehicles (from taxis via minibuses to ordinary buses). “The client’s wishes are paramount”, Gerlach said. “With tariff- and service differentiation it should be possible to serve all customers in a flexible way.” And although the discussion –moderated by Taxi Times’ Jürgen Hartmannshowed that several cities already use similar flexible models, most public transport still seems to be stuck in the same conservative service rut. In this area there is a world to be gained by public transport and taxi companies. One voice from the audience put it quite succinctly when the mobility theme seamlessly continued into the radio circuit discussion: “Why don’t we become mobility dispatch centres instead of taxi radio circuits?” wf PHOTO: Wim Faber PHOTOS: Taxi Times Last year Taxiworld Turkey made its first small steps on the taxi stage – very much focused on Turkey’s taxi industry and suppliers. This year the trade show comes with a complete one-day international taxi conference dealing with ‘The future of taxi services in a fast changing market and technological environment’. GTN Undoubtedly the fresh international conference on February 5 to be held as part of the trade show and organised together with ECAB’S STRIDES FORWARD eCab, started by the G7 group in Paris, is one of the GTN-affiliated apps and with taxi.eu prepared the groundwork for the launching of the IRU-group. The recent activities of the other launching partner have already been highlighted elsewhere, but this year eCab also made giant strides forward IRU, will highlight the progress made by IRU’s Global Taxi (Quality) Network (GTN). Istanbul will probably see the launch of a revamped GTN complete with a new logo and a new appeal. A bit more than a year after GTN was launched, November 2014, the global network now counts 250.000 taxis on 5 continents as members. Every month about 30.000 taxis join the group. The latest addition was last September with the app Allo Taxi which started in Lebanon. IRU’s GTN is a fast-growing network of taxi industry federations (members) and taxi and presently straddles three continents. Allo Taxi in Beirut and Tripoli were the latest additions, together with most major Canadian cities. Apart from the major coup of making the four Vancouver radio circuits work together in one app, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal were also added to the eCab books. app providers (partners). Partners are vetted and certified by the federations as meeting a list of pre-defined GTN quality criteria. According to IRU, “GTN’s objective is to promote legal, reliable, high quality and safe services to taxi customers by making use of the latest technology related to smartphone applications for taxis, in full respect of the regulatory frame-work in force.” GTN also helps to focus the taxi industry – federations and partners alike – on new quality initiatives to highlight the trumps of the taxi trade over other apps. wf Earlier this year Rome, Milan, Florence and 22 other Italian cities joined eCab, just as Madrid, Antwerp and Kortrijk in Belgium, plus Nimes and Clermond-Ferrand in France. The year before eCab already extended its reach to India through a cooperation with the Meru Group. wf 18 JANUARY / 2016 TAXI 19

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