Liberalisation and taxi war
In 2000, the taxi business was turned upside down again. The Minister of Transport and Water Management, Annemarie Jorritsma (VVD), was liberalising the Dutch taxi market. Liberalisation was implemented under her successor Tineke Netelenbos (PvdA). Taxi drivers with expensive licences had to throw them out and faced competition from poorer-quality drivers. At the taxi ranks in Amsterdam, the atmosphere was grim and sometimes actual battles occurred.
As a result of liberalisation, the number of taxis in the Netherlands rose from 16,000 to 23,000 in two years’ time, and in 2009 there were even 45,000 taxis. However, the price did not fall: in fact, taxis were becoming 25% more expensive. The unpleasant atmosphere at the taxi ranks also reduced the number of customers and so the quality did not improve. The taxi market remained turbulent for a long time.
In October 2011, a new Taxi Act came into force. Based on that Act, the City of Amsterdam drew up new Municipal Taxi Regulations, which have been in force since November 2012 and contain new rules for the Amsterdam pick-up market. Every taxi driver on that market had to join a TTO (licensed taxi company). Ever since 1 June 2013, only TTOs and taxi drivers with an Amsterdam taxi exemption are allowed to pick up their customers from the taxi ranks.