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Amsterdam taxis rank poorly in European test

DutchAmsterdam.nl — Taxi services in Amsterdam rank poorly compared to those in the rest of Europe.

In a study published by German motoring organization ADAC, Amsterdam ranks 19th among 22 cities.

Testers for the organization rated drivers, their taxis, routes taken and rates.

Half of the drivers did not fare well.

They ran red lights, took longer routes, or charged incorrect rates.

Some drivers also flat-out refused to accept customers for short trips.

Taxi experiences in Amsterdam

Short taxi documentary *

ADAC’s mystery shoppers presented themselves as business professionals.

In Amsterdam one of them asked a taxi at Amsterdam Central Station — a taxi rank Amsterdammers refer to, without any subtlety, as the ‘Gaza Strip’ — for a ride to the RAI Congress & Convention Centre.

He was told the trip would cost him € 30.00. The driver did not help with the lugguge.

Along the way the taxi driver makes a detour in order to pick up a second customer — without consulting the mystery shopper. The woman is charged € 15.00

During the drive the taxi driver frequently changes lanes without using his indicator signals. He made several phone calls, all without using a hands-free set.

Requests to turn down the air-conditioning were ignored. At the destination, the driver remained in his car, forcing the customer to retrieve his luggage.

The vehicle itself sported dents and rust, and was dirty inside. Space in the trunk was restricted.

How other cities ranked in the taxi survey

In the ADAC test, Barcelona came out on top. ADAC’s test customers highlighted in particular the helpful and friendly attitude of the drivers.

The top five was rounded out by Munich, Germany; Cologne, Germany; Milan, Italy, and Berlin, Germany.

Paris occupies 6th place, while the Dutch city of Rotterdam ranked in 10th place.

Ljubljana, the capital of Slovania, came in last place.

Radio Netherlands report from July 2009 about problems in the Amsterdam Taxi branch

Amsterdam taxi tips

You can avoid having to deal with taxis by checking — before you arrive — whether your hotel provides a shuttle service. In that case, the service can probably pick you up at Schiphol airport instead.

You can also pre-book Amsterdam airport transfers to and from town.

If you do not have much lugguge, using the public transport system is also a good option.

• Customers should note that legally they are allowed to pick and choose any taxi of their liking. In other words, you are not forced to take the first one in line.

• Ask your hotel — before you arrive — to give you an indication of the cost of a taxi trip from Central Station. Tell the driver to use the meter, and let him know you expect the trip to cost somethign close to the amount quoted to you by the hotel.

• If at all possible, avoid the Taxi Rank at Amsterdam Central Station. If you do go there, look for a TCA taxi.

• You can also order a TCA taxi. In this case it may be best to have the taxi pick you up in front of the St. Nicholas Church — directly across from Central Station. To order a TCA taxi, call 020 – 777 7777 (7×7)

• The taxi documentary is not related to the ADAC taxi ranking survey.
• The ADAC study results

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