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Amsterdam to install ‘green’ taxi rank at Central Station

DutchAmsterdam.nl — Amsterdam is planning to open a ‘green’ taxi rank for the city’s Tuk Tuks, bicycle taxis and horse-drawn carriages.

The city says the rank will be located at the Prins Hendrikplantsoen across from the Victoria hotel – across the bridge from Central Station.

The rank will reportedly consist of two parking spaces — yes, for the three modes of transportation mentioned above — as well as a charging point for the electric Tuk Tuks.

Eventually green ranks will be available throughout the city.

In addition, a recent policy change makes it possible for alternative public transporters to apply for a service permit covering the entire city. Until now separate permits — which among other things allow taxis to stop at any location for the loading and unloading of passengers — had to be requested from each borough.

Not so green Amsterdam

While the emphasis on ‘green’ is laudable, lots of Amsterdammers are miffed at the fact the city destroyed, in February last year, the ‘plantsoen’ where the green rank is to be located.

A ‘plantsoen’ is a tiny park, usually no larger than a good size garden: a public space with some trees, some grass, and perhaps some bushes.

The Prins Hendrikplantsoen was created in 1883, at the same time Central Station was built.

The entire Central Station area has in recent years been turned into one big building site due to work on the controversial North-South metro line.

As part of the project a new bus station is being built behind Central Station. During the past few years bus stops have been moved around the area as needed to accommodate construction activities.

When more space was needed, the trees at the Prins Hendrikplantsoen were unceremoniously cut down, and the square was paved over with bus stops. The plantsoen can still be viewed in its former state at Google maps.

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This post was last updated: Sep. 25, 2011