Organisation

Quote box

TCA is genuine Amsterdam. For the good of Amsterdam we therefore are happy to work with the biggest Taxi Company in the Netherlands.

 Restaurant Toro Dorado

History

From the first taxi in 1905, via the ‘chequered belts’ and the ‘yellow belts’ to the 2012 Municipal Taxi Regulations: Amsterdam looks back at a glorious taxi history.

One of the first ATAX-taxis, Damrak, 1910

Taxis have been driving through Amsterdam from the beginning of the twentieth century. The first taxi is noticed in 1905; four years later ‘ATAX’ obtains the first real taxi license. ATAX drives electric vehicles, bought in Hamburg and provided with batteries in the Netherlands. These vehicles make the sound of a tram and the drivers are sitting on the bench, just like a charioteer.

Free riders

It doesn’t take long for trouble to arise. At a certain moment ‘free riders’ start to offer their services, in addition to the licensed drivers. Licensed cabs can be recognized by their chequered belt. The free riders, also named ‘crawlers’, join under the leadership of Evert Hoedemaker. They call themselves the ‘yellow belts’, with the objective of getting a license too. Around 1927 incidents occur between the chequered belts and the yellow belts: the first taxi war is a fact.

Taxis at the station square, 1929

Customer service

Hoedemaker soon realises that this is not the way to obtain a taxi license. He starts to teach his yellow belts a little customer service, and brings them together in the General Taxi Company in 1934. The yellow belts are not allowed to overcharge their customers anymore. Also they are prohibited to drive a taxi in couples: customers find this intimidating. In the end, the yellow belts get their license and peace returns in the taxi market.

Chequered belt for everyone

In 1946, after World War II, the Municipal Taxi Regulations come into force. All cabs in Amsterdam are provided with a chequered belt. In these years also the ‘two-tax’ appears in the market: a small Vauxhall with just enough room for two passengers. At that time, a town ride costs only 40 cents.

CBVT and the foundation of TCA

At this time, the pool of taxi’s in Amsterdam still consists for a large part of independent drivers. This comes to an end with the foundation of the Central Office for Taxi’s (CBVT) on the 8th of March 1957. All taxi’s come under the authority of this association. To create uniformity and recognisability, every cab is obliged to have an orange roof. Also, every cab gets a chequered belt. In the early nineties there is some fuss after a couple of board changes. It’s decided to found a private company (Ltd). Taxicentrale Amsterdam BV (TCA) is founded April 1st 1995.

Liberalization and taxi war

In the year 2000, the taxi world is turned upside down again. The minister of Transport, Annemarie Jorritsma (Liberal Party), starts the liberalisation of the taxi market. Her successor, Tineke Netelenbos (Labour Party) continues the liberalisation. Taxi drivers with expensive licenses can toss those in the bin. They get competition from low-quality drivers. At the Amsterdam taxi stands the atmosphere is grim, sometimes complete battles break out.

45.000 taxis

Due to the liberalisation, the number of taxis in the Netherlands rises from 16,000 to 23,000 in two years. In the year 2009, that number has increased to 45,000. However, the cab fare is not getting any lower; on the contrary: taxi’s become 25 per cent more expensive. The unpleasant atmosphere at the taxi stands also scares away the customers, and the quality of service is decreasing. For a long time the taxi market stays tumultuous.

TCA taxis at the RAI

TTOs

Since October 2011 a new Taxi Act is in force. Based on this Act, the city of Amsterdam established new Municipal Taxi Regulations. These came into force November 2012 and contain regulations for the Amsterdam ‘pick up’ taxi market. Every taxi driver who wants to pick up customers at the street or at a stand, needs to join a so-called TTO (registered taxi organization). This way the relatively small group of trouble makers will disappear from the taxi stands.

As of 1 June 2013, only TTOs and drivers with an Amsterdam taxi dispensation are allowed to pick up their customers at the taxi stands. Of course TCA is such a TTO.