In the dispute over the reform of the mobility market, the traditional taxi industry and new providers are moving towards each other. In a letter to Federal Transport Minister Scheuer (CSU) and parliamentarians, they call for an amendment to the Passenger Transport Act during this parliamentary term.
Discussions on this have been going on for a long time. With regard to the Corona crisis, it is said that the mobility industry needs planning security and stability “right now”, at least on the regulatory side.
The joint paper was available to the German Press Agency. It comes from the Federal Association of Taxis and Car Hire as well as the pooling providers Clevershuttle, Moia and ViaVan. They offer so-called ride pooling – customers can book a collective taxi via an app, and other passengers are taken along. The Federal Association of Taxis had previously repeatedly warned that opening up the market would be at the expense of the industry. But the Corona crisis has also caused the turnover of many taxi drivers to plummet.
Now the “united appeal” states that modern mobility needs sustainable innovation and “orderly coexistence”. The joint letter was reportedly highly discussed in the traditional taxi industry. Many taxi drivers see the new mobility providers more as opponents.
The letter states that ever-increasing digital opportunities are leading to new business models, mobility is becoming more diverse and established offerings are evolving. “At the same time, the world is facing immense challenges and uncertainties – not least currently due to the Corona pandemic.”
The amendment to the Passenger Transport Act is to open up new opportunities, but also to correct wrong developments, the paper states. In concrete terms, five points are mentioned.
For example, a pre-order period will be introduced for rental cars. The Federal Association of Taxis had demanded that 30 minutes should pass between the order intake and the start of the journey for customers of service providers, and that spontaneous journeys should be reserved for classic taxis. This had actually met with criticism from new providers.
The letter now states: “Experience in recent years has shown that ad hoc taxi-like services by large-scale rental cars deprive the basis of traffic operating in the interests of the public interest through ruinous competition.” This runs counter to the objectives of the traffic turnaround. “In order to reduce these traffic, a pre-order period for ordering rental cars in the big city must be introduced in addition to the effective enforcement of the return obligation.”
In addition, clear structures must be created and order in the mobility market re-established: “Clear demarcation criteria of the various forms of transport are essential. The modernised taxi ensures individual and immediate transport from A to B, pooling bundles demand-oriented mobility requirements, and the rental car offers individual and specific solutions for pre-ordered journeys.»
Pooling must be allowed to be legally secure. Pooling should be able to be provided both in the private and public transport sector within the framework of local public transport. They are an important building block of the traffic turnaround and could improve the connection of underserved areas. The “traffic-relieving effect” should be ensured by a pooling quota.
It is also a question of strengthening the municipalities, it is said. They would have to be given additional tools to improve mobility on the ground. There must also be fair pay and fair working conditions for drivers.
Scheuer presented key points for the liberalisation of the market more than a year ago, in order to respond to new forms of mobility. It was envisaged that substantial requirements would be removed for new service providers.