Are taxi top ads legal in India

The ridiculousness of the taxi lobby is hard to beat

Taxi providers have a monopoly protected by law in Germany. This is very convenient and has ensured that neither the business model nor the service have changed much in the last 100 years. When MyTaxi (now FreeNow) was launched, it caused angry reactions in the industry. MyTaxi actually only replaced the archaic wireless communication concept. The taxi service itself was not shaken at all. It was not until the offer from MyTaxi that the taxi companies were driven to innovate and offer their own app-based brokerage.

Times change. Ridesharing in particular has changed the mobility offer in recent years. The services of Moia and Ioki are successful, but with temporary special permits, some of which will expire this year, depending on the city. This is another reason why the Passenger Transport Act is to be changed. On the one hand so that the ridesharing providers can work legally, on the other hand to open up the market. A key element of this opening is the elimination of the so-called return obligation.

This states that chauffeured rental cars, i.e. taxi-like services, are not allowed to take on new assignments while driving. Instead, they have to return to the company's headquarters so that they can take on a new assignment there. This applies to both the telephone and the transfer via app. It is precisely this obligation to return that is the stumbling block for all app-based services. Because the software models, which are now also based on forecast, send the drivers to where there is a lot going on. This increases the capacity utilization, which is why a vehicle is more economical and sometimes more environmentally friendly.

Actually, the obligation to return should be deleted from the law. But apparently the taxi lobby at the Ministry of Transport was able to prevail. In the last variants of the amended Passenger Transport Act, the obligation is again included. This would cement the monopoly of taxi providers in Germany for an indefinite period of time.

At the same time, it would mean that the door to innovative and sustainable services in the taxi and ride sharing market would be closed. And what should fully autonomous taxis do in the future? Would you like to return to the station, where you will then be handed a new order by hand? It is astonishing that the lobby does not notice the shortsightedness and ridiculousness of their own actions. Apparently the news for the past five years has been completely ignored.

Once again the industry is proving that it is not about innovation and customer service, but only about preserving its own advantages. In order to achieve their goal, the lobby representatives of the taxi companies stir up fears that are hostile to technology and have nothing to do with reality. At the same time, they also reveal their own drivers.

Because instead of joining the possibilities of digitization and giving drivers the chance to adjust to the coming changes or even help shape them, the taxi lobby prefers to stay mentally in the 1950s in order to keep an outdated business model afloat for a few years hold.

This irresponsible attitude not only harms the taxi companies themselves, it is also at the expense of the mobility transition in the cities. Because the cities and municipalities have so far had to adhere to the requirements of the Passenger Transport Act. If this prohibits the use of other companies in the taxi business, nothing can be changed in a municipality. The hands of the cities are tied. Even if they want to offer new mobility concepts, they are not allowed to. The transport turnaround is canceled because an industry continues to live in the 20th century and the transport minister was abandoned by his own courage.

Don Dahlmann has been a journalist for over 25 years and in the automotive industry for over ten years. Every Monday you read his column "Torque", which takes a critical look at the mobility industry.

Image: Image: Getty Images / Sean Gallup / Staff