On Friday, the Federal Council campaigned for corrections to the federal government’s draft to reform the Passenger Transport Act. According to the committee, it is necessary, for example, that permits for occasional traffic in cars can be refused by transport service providers such as Uber and Free Now if they violate the provisions of the amendment or other national regulations on climate protection or accessibility.
Enforce climate protection and sustainability
In its “commercial pooling” via providers such as CleverShuttle and Moia, the authorities should be able to set and enforce appropriate standards, emphasizes the regional chamber opinion. A legal requirement must also be introduced in order to be able to give priority to clean or emission-free vehicles in the tariff and at parking spaces in the taxi area. In general, we should not speak of specifications for “environmental compatibility”, but of those for “climate protection and sustainability”.
The Federal Council is uncomfortable with the envisaged obligation for all registered entrepreneurs and brokers to provide mobility data on a large scale. He asks the federal government to legally review this project and reassess the costs for the economy. There are significant concerns as to whether the clause is compatible with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As far as the measured values could already be combined in the local public transport via systems of the federal states, they should only be delivered to them.
The federal states also want it to be made clear that “both a tariff corridor and a fixed price can be set for journeys by electronic or telephone order”. Fixed prices should also be permitted for certain routes such as between the airport and the main train station in the “Wink and Waiting Market”, which only taxis are allowed to serve.
The Federal Council does not want to completely dispense with the local knowledge test for cab drivers, in spite of the compulsory navigation system, but rather replace it with proof of the “necessary local knowledge” for an area for which transport requirements exist. This envisaged specialist examination should also be extended to the rental car business.
Cash payment is not compulsory
According to the decision, the authorities should be able to provide that a public transport company is not obliged to enable tickets to be purchased with cash at every stop or in the vehicle. The prerequisite should be that passengers can purchase a ticket using alternative payment methods.
The chamber’s technical committees and individual countries had previously requested further improvements and tightening, but could not prevail. The traffic politicians as well as North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate had applied, for example, in vain, that the mandatory return to the company headquarters should be dropped for ecological reasons in rental cars with clean drives.
Against social dumping
The Baden-Württemberg Transport Minister Winfried Hermann von den Grünen recalled that a search committee from the federal and state governments had agreed in advance on an “anti-social dumping concept”. The federal government does not implement this appropriately. It is important to prevent that only “the Ubers of this world” are the winners, who do not have adequate social standards. So far, no minimum wages have been set for individual offers.
Hermann’s colleague from Schleswig-Holstein, Bernd Buchholz (FDP), described the template as the “lowest common denominator” in order to avoid “trouble with the taxi drivers”. The structural change cannot be stopped and should therefore be better designed. Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) said, “It’s not just about taxi versus Uber”. Nobody wants to restrict the good service of the cab drivers, nobody a “US Uber with social dumping and distortion of competition”. Citizens are often much further advanced in their everyday usage scenarios.