Working together with different app providers does not make you a MaaS provider

When we use MaaS as a search term at Google, we continue to see dozens of pages of a fantastic 950-kilometer-long river in Western Europe, which flows right through the Netherlands. There is still no Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and that will probably remain so in the coming years when we hear the noise from the various MaaS working groups.

According to general director Hedy Borreman, TCA is already a MaaS provider. 

She made this statement to her at the last KNV Annual Event in Bunnik. Borreman believes he can make this statement because the Amsterdam taxi company with around 1,500 drivers is already connected to apps such as Whim and Tranzer and is running a MaaS pilot.

“We share information with the other parties involved. And you have to keep an eye on user privacy, "says Borreman. Because of this statement you will not receive any further questions about the 'show-stopper' AVG.

She does not want to provide any further information about which information TCA shares in this. Searching for connections with different apps does not make you a MaaS provider yourself. The deployment of a company goes further than just cooperating with an app provider, in the hope of receiving additional trip orders this way.

The basic elements for naming the MaaS are still missing. Paying is still done in the taxi and there is a too large range of apps on the market that only a small area of the MaaS issue answers.

Giancarlo Scaramelli believes that Transdev has not yet become a fully-fledged MaaS provider. "In terms of collaborations, yes, but not when it comes to data." Scaramelli already warned at the KNV working group MaaS meetings that we must realize well who will receive the data and what they can or will do with it.

What needs to happen in the long term to travel without barriers?

After the first exploratory phase, the time had come for a concrete next step with the establishment of the KNV MaaS Lab. Policy staff member Sonila Metushi and Arjan Vaandrager of the KNV know better than anyone how difficult it is to bring companies and umbrella organizations together within the KNV MaaS-Lab.

Together with the partners in the Mobility Alliance, KNV drew up a plan in the past year for the development of a MaaS ecosystem in the Netherlands. This ambition is included in the Delta Plan that was presented in June 2019.

In the long term, the MaaS offer must also be integrated into one simple app where the consumer can order his journey from departure to arrival and pay for it within the same transaction.

The economy is digitizing further and faster. The question is not whether digital platforms will have an impact, but what that impact is. Nobody can let this development pass him by.

“Whether it is a partial bicycle to cycle to the station, an OV train journey to travel to Groningen and a taxi to drive to the end point on Museum Island, it should not matter to the consumer how the payment was received within order".

Have we learned anything from the past?

That's where the shoe pinches. The public transport chip card was introduced nationwide on a large scale in 2012 and 7 years later we can use a (part) scooter or (loan) bicycle with the same card, but we are still unable to pay for the taxi with the public transport pass. quite the contrary, many taxi drivers still like to see cash in the taxi.

However, the power lies in helping to define multimodal standard interfaces, identification authorization and payment processes. The importance of promoting a level playing field remains important in everything we devise together.

Sacking an impatient taxi driver does not solve the problem

Woman holding a walker

Social media reacted furiously to images of a driver from Regiotaxi Utrecht who is helping a woman in need in his taxi in a rather impatient manner. Although there is little evidence of 'helping' in this case.

“Come on, ma'am, the road is flat. Come on! ”, The man shouts, clapping his hands frequently and nervously. "Yes, we still have more work to do," he explains his nervous behavior. "Other drivers had long been gone."

This story is of course not isolated and although this behavior of the drivers is by no means good to talk about, the core of the matter is the regulations that we have devised together. It has to become increasingly cheaper and quality cannot do without investing in people.

The taxi company in question carries out the Collective Demand-dependent Transport on behalf of Regiotaxi Utrecht and arranges this with sub taxis in this province. In itself a familiar picture of what we find everywhere in the Netherlands when carrying out this form of transport.

Within this form of transport, 'sharp' rules apply, such as the maximum waiting time for the customer when he is not ready. In most cases, the taxi driver can continue driving if the waiting time is more than five minutes. Other travelers who are already on the bus are waiting. 

Other travelers also suffer because their taxi shows up too late

Combined transport in most cases consists of a route of two to four combined travelers who must be transported within the 'standards'. If there is a delay within the route, other travelers will also suffer because their taxi will show up too late.

It is not unusual for social media reports to show that Mrs. Janssen had to wait far too long for her taxi. The regional press and opposition parties in local politics are happy to respond to this question to question the quality of the carrier. In this case it was a supermarket employee who would rather film than assist her smoking colleague to guide the customer to the taxi. 

Without properly discussing the behavior in this matter, we should think together about the regulations and requirements that we impose on transport companies. Perhaps this behavior may be a cause of our regulations and a driver who implements these rules, in terms of waiting time, as expected from him.

Arno Janssen, general manager of this taxi company, says he is 'very shocked'. “We are deeply ashamed. The behavior is disrespectful and completely unacceptable. We contacted the family of the woman in question and apologized. ”

National politics interfere with the incident

In a response, the PVV announced that care and elderly transport is under pressure. Companies go bankrupt or sell off healthcare transport with serious consequences. The #PVV ask parliamentary questions!

Woman holding a walker

Google Maps warns if a taxi driver tries to rip you off

Google has decided to use Google Maps to compete with taxi drivers. According to Google, the scams will soon be a thing of the past. With the new feature called Stay Safer, Google Maps gives a notification when the taxi driver deviates from the route.

Taxi drivers who try to trick their customers are better on their guard because Google Maps is testing a new feature where users are notified when the most logical route is ignored by the driver.

It is a known worldwide problem: rogue taxi drivers who unnecessarily make a big detour in order to push the fare up.

If it depends on Google Maps, such practices will soon be a thing of the past. The new function within Google Maps called "Stay Safer" automatically gives users a notification when the taxi deviates more than 500 meters from the "logical" route.

The notification makes the user aware of the possible scams.

The position is currently being tested in India, a country where some rape cases where taxi drivers sexually abused their female customers have led to great dismay.

It is not yet known when 'Stay Safer' will be rolled out globally.

Delta Plan Mobility on the agenda of the sixth KNV annual event

Wednesday, June 12, the sixth annual event KNV Healthcare Transport & Taxi was held in Bunnik. After years of presence in Utrecht at the former Mercedes Nederland headquarters, this year it was not entirely coincidentally that the BOVAGhuis was chosen.

Despite a rainy day that caused the attendance of members to fail, it was an interesting agenda full of MaaS and Delta Plan mobility. The latter was presented to the State Secretary and Minister earlier in the morning.

The next cabinet must invest billions in the demand for mobility.

The capacity of the Dutch road network and public transport is insufficient to accommodate the increasing demand for mobility. To prevent the Netherlands from getting stuck in the coming years, mobility needs to be redesigned. The Mobility alliance makes specific proposals for this, in which the traveler and the transport of goods are central.

To make the transition - to a new, innovative and integrated mobility system - a package of measures has been presented in the Delta Plan. Such as the construction of mobility hubs on the outskirts of cities and in rural areas to make the transfer and exchange between different modes of transport smoother and faster. In combination with the further development of Mobility as a Service, so that travelers can easily and tailor-made travel advice and can immediately reserve, book and pay in simple, accessible apps.

The Mobility Alliance is a unique partnership of now 25 parties, established to ensure that the freedom of movement of the Netherlands is preserved in the future. This requires a change to a new smarter mobility system in which both the traveler and the entrepreneur can travel flexibly.

Broad plan with a coherent package of measures.

The strength of the Delta Plan is that it approaches mobility as a coherent whole. By the mobility sector of the Netherlands, before the mobility of the Netherlands. It is not just about the need for accessibility, but also about our climate ambitions, spatial issues, road safety, a healthy and inclusive society, innovation and energy transition. It is about what the Netherlands needs now for later. And travelers and users are central.

New VVR guidelines are still a nuisance

old couple a man and woman sitting in a wheelchair outdoors

The transitional arrangement to comply with the updated Code for the Safe Transport of Wheelchair Users (VVR) has been extended by one year to 1 July 2020. According to the law, a taxi driver is responsible for the correct use of the restraint system and seat belts, but the large diversity of wheelchairs still leads agree to problems with transportation.

The VVR Code Code wants to use the extra time, among other things, to talk to clients about the need for safe wheelchair transport.

The VVR Code is a guideline for the safe transport of wheelchair passengers. The revised code came into force in October 2017, when a transitional period has also been agreed in which wheelchairs without a hook symbol may also be transported, provided that they are properly secured.

The code has been around for 20 years

The first edition dates from 1999 and was managed by KBOH and Vilans. From the 2015-2016 edition, the Vast = Beter knowledge center manages the VVR Code. To protect the independent and objective content, the brand name "Code VVR by A.Peters" ® is officially registered. The 2019-2020 edition is currently the most current issue.

Transitional arrangement VRR Code extended by one year

Wheelchair users, drivers and companies can see from the sticker with the hook symbol that the wheelchair can be transported safely.

  • After July 1, 2020 wheelchairs may no longer be transported without such a sticker.
  • During the transitional period, the passenger and the carrier must together find a safe solution if the (usually older) wheelchair is not yet marked with the hook symbol.
  • For people with a customized wheelchair who is not marked with a hook symbol after July 1, 2020, an adequate solution must be found.

More about the creation of the VVR code - click here

old couple a man and woman sitting in a wheelchair outdoors
senior man with woman in wheelchair outside in the city

Taxibus in The Hague is now called 'AV 070'

Since 1 June 2019, the Wmo transport, 'Taxibus', has been operating in The Hague under a new name: 'AV 070'. Striking and certainly innovative is the use of hydrogen for passenger cars, with which The Hague indicates that the environment is high on its agenda.

A new name for 'Additional Transport'

The new name was inspired by suggestions from residents of The Hague through a competition. The name is short and easy to remember and fits the city.

AV stands for Additional Transport. For those who are unable to travel by private or public transport due to a disability, and who cannot rely on family, friends or neighbors, there is AV 070. Approximately 15,000 people from The Hague use it every year. The majority of the new cars consist of electric passenger cars. The great thing about passenger cars is the low entry.

It is important that the residents of The Hague are put into their own power as much as possible so that they can participate as long as possible. One of the most important conditions for continuing to live independently is having transportation. If people are tied to a lot of things, the chance of isolation is high. For many people this form of transport is therefore an important facility.

Alderman Kavita Parbhudayal:

The Taxibus is a well-known concept in The Hague. However, this facility fits a new name. Because it is not a real taxi, but a facility where people are transported together and therefore picked up at different places. In The Hague, everyone must receive the care he or she needs. Together we ensure that everyone in The Hague can participate.

Target group transport Walcheren to Hala Zeeland and Taxi de Vlieger

The Zeeland company Hala Zeeland, part of TCR Middelburg, and Taxi de Vlieger Zierikzee will be carrying out the target group transport on Walcheren in the coming four years. 

The three Walcheren municipalities jointly awarded them the route transport, demand-dependent transport and the stop taxi of the municipality of Veere. 

welfare, care and to grow up on Walcheren

The transport must be requested from Porthos. Porthos is the municipal counter for the residents of Walcheren where people can apply for the Youth Act or the Social Support Act (Wmo). Porthos also offers access to the Youth Act on Walcheren.

There are various healthcare laws that regulate healthcare in the Netherlands. This is mainly due to the reimbursement for care. The Youth Act and the Social Support Act fall under the responsibility of the municipalities that have transferred this to Porthos.

Pitane Mobility concludes unique agreement with Karhoo

Karhoo works slightly differently from many of his rivals such as Uber. It simply provides a platform for taxi companies to offer ride prices in the app so that users can choose the provider that suits their needs. For the Netherlands and Flanders this will soon be done for taxi companies via the Pitane Mobility network.

The Flit Technologies Group was established in 2016 with the acquisition of Karhoo, which had then run into financial problems and had to cease its activities. A new Karhoo team was put together and the services were restarted in 2017, with a renewed business model and a new business approach.

Flit Technologies Group was subsequently expanded with a collaboration with COMO to create COMO Urban Mobility and with the acquisition of Yuso in 2018. The group now has more than 100 employees and more than 1000 customers. Together they support the growth of a better urban mobility environment.

Role of Pitane Mobility and profit for our customers

With national coverage in the Netherlands and Belgium and very large coverage by taxi companies in major cities, the user of Pitane Mobility will be able to benefit from this fairly unique collaboration in the coming years.

Karhoo will offer its journey orders on the Dutch and Belgian market via the Pitane Mobility network. Consider, for example, transport expansions when booking hotel rooms and flights and the associated taxi rides to and from the airport or the expansion of transport from any NS station.

Karhoo cooperates with the French Railways SNCF to create an innovative new platform Mon Driver to enable travelers on the high-speed trains of the SNCF to book first and last kilometers with a taxi or a private rental car

Censys BV in Eindhoven will link the journey orders to Pitane Mobility centers that are equipped with Pitane Mobility Assist version 10 or higher.

French bank specializes in mobility services 

Flit Technologies is supported by RCI Bank and Services, a French bank specialized in car financing and services for customers and networks of the Renault Groupe (Renault, Renault Samsung Motors, Dacia) worldwide and of the Nissan group (Nissan, Infiniti, Datsun) , mainly in Europe, Brazil and South Korea and through joint ventures in Russia and India. Over the past two years, RCI Bank and Service has a strategic ambition to become a B2B provider of mobility services to become.

Pitane Mobility concludes a partner agreement with Here Technologies

Man Using GPS Navigation System In Car

HERE Technologies is a company that offers map and location data and related services to individuals and companies. It is largely in the hands of a consortium of German car companies, while other companies also have minority interests.

The company has over 6,500 employees worldwide and is today owned by the BMW, Audi, Daimler and Intel consortium. The company was once founded by Navteq and later taken over by Nokia.

Navigation as a service is just the beginning

Despite the fact that this partner agreement costs a lot of time and money for Censys BV in Eindhoven, we are convinced that it must be a fully-fledged alternative to the current integration of Google Maps.

"The main reason for integrating HERE is the planned development of new products and services within Pitane Mobility for taxi and coach companies."

Pitane Mobility version 10 will use the following HERE services, among others:

  • Geocoding - Highly accurate mapping of geo coordinates and addresses
  • Positioning - Device tracing and positioning for inside and outside, online and offline
  • Fleet Telematics - Advanced algorithms for optimal routing and planning with an extensive set of data, including attributes, costs and environmental zones
  • Routing - accurate instructions to a destination using different transport modes (car, bus, taxi, public transport, bicycle) and using matrix and isoline algorithms
  • Places - Extensive set of Points of Interest with rich attribution for more than 400 categories
  • Map tiles - Pre-displayed map tiles with various display types, such as a regular map, satellite images, and terrain
  • Folder Image - Pre-rendered map images that are already optimized for both desktop and mobile devices
Signing legal document

Politicians and press score easily due to insufficient knowledge of the rules

Under the Social Support Act (Wmo), citizens can use special transport. There are differences in implementation and carrier per municipality. There are standards in the market and statutory rates to which municipalities and transporters are bound, but quality requirements in municipalities' procurement program vary considerably.

Political opposition and press score easily due to insufficient knowledge of the rules of the game

Taxis arrive late, they double or the drivers do not sufficiently help the passengers. These are just a few comments where the opposition parties are spinning politically and the local press all too often sees enough to put the implementation of the Wmo transport in a negative light, a question of scoring the right target group.

Many complaints have to do with the expectations of the traveler and lack of good communication from the government about what can be expected from the transport within its Wmo contract. Carriers also regularly have to deal with complaints that they cannot influence, but that have to do with the client and the policy.

Recently we could read in the Dagblad van het Noorden that complaints came from people who would normally sit in the car for 20 minutes for a ride but took much longer because the taxi took several people at the same time. Perhaps the journalist had not really delved into the transport conditions of the Wmo transport and assumed that this strange situation was a mistake by the transporter.

No transport company wants to 'bully' the traveler

The Asser PvdA had received 48 complaints after it had opened a hotline two months ago where travelers from the Wmo transport could report problems. That is not even a complaint per day, but every complaint is one too many.

With the knowledge that some control centers carry out thousands of journeys per day, the number of complaints is minimal and transport companies do their utmost to properly transport the traveler within the agreed rules of the Wmo transport. Wmo transport is a special market with a special target group that requires extra attention.

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