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The on-board computer, also known as the BCT, has been a point of discussion in the taxi sector for years. Proponents and opponents stumbled with an opinion about the device. On the way to a legal status for the device, several companies perished in the market. Barely after the investment costs of the device have been written off, the BCT is again the subject of discussion.

The taxi industry was turned upside down by Uber a few years ago. This company made it very easy to book a taxi. A new kind of application was born: the taxi app. Perhaps the main objection to the BCT is that the device no longer meets current market developments. Producers of those boxes do everything they can to give it added value by developing extra apps that should supplement the lack of functionality. They too see that the era is over, simply outdated by other technological developments.

legal status

Every taxi driver must be in possession of a valid and personal driver card. When taxi work is carried out, this driver card must be used in the BCT. Working and rest times are registered and stored on the driver card. The on-board computer can be linked to the printer, if any, and taximeter in the car. During road checks, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) can read the BCT to check the data. By using the data from the on-board computer in your business operations, you avoid having to do your administration twice. This saves a lot of time. Controlling authorities, such as the ILT and the police, use the information to monitor the applicable laws and regulations.

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The ILT supervises taxi transport and compliance with working and rest times. The inspection is a project started. The assignment for the ILT is: look for cardless alternatives to the On-board Computer Taxi (BCT). In previous years, the ILT has conducted research into various scenarios. This resulted in a preferred variant: Data Central. Thanks to the new system, not only the inspector, but also the taxi operator spends less time obtaining data.

“In this scenario, a specific app or device is not mandatory, but the manner and frequency in which taxi companies provide their working and rest times. That is positive for the taxi entrepreneur, because alternatives to the BCT, such as an app that runs on a smartphone, are probably cheaper.”

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With the taxi on-board computer (BCT), the taxi industry and the government would work together to make Dutch taxi transport safer and more manageable. Opinions are divided on whether they succeeded. A BCT includes various legal and expensive on-board computer cards that are issued by the Kiwa Register on behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management. A driver card for the taxi on-board computer is the main one and identifies the driver and records driving and rest times. The prices on-board computer for taxis were established in the Regulation on the reimbursement of documents for the Passenger Transport Act 2000 and the Regulation on the use of on-board computer and on-board computer cards. 

Technology

The industry is currently discussing how the BCT should be shaped in the future in order to maintain its legal character. Further functionality has long been out of the question. Entrepreneurs, taxi drivers and freelancers are now massively switching to using apps to send the journey orders to the drivers.

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"Today we send over 35.000 journey orders per day to drivers via our mobile apps. For contract transport it is an ideal and very cheap solution."

Perhaps the main asset is the way drivers and customers are connected through the use of mobile apps. Useful apps like Pitane Arrive en Pitane Driver play well on that. From reservation to payment, from execution to valuation. Everything is available without heavy investments. In addition to the flexible deployment of the applications, the use is also linked to many MaaS solutions by using the TOMP API at the control or taxi center.

technically progressive

The use of mobile apps is no longer just an Uber affair. Mobile apps are increasingly used in contract transport. This can easily be done by telephone, but we see more and more Android tablets appearing in the cars. The on-board computer or BCT is still present in many taxis, but only serves to register the driving and rest times of the drivers. The use of the device for the exchange of transport orders is a thing of the past.

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