When the new Occupational Transport Act comes into force on July, taxi drivers will not need to be on the road all hours of the day. However, this means that districts and the elderly can be severely affected.
“With this change in law, 24 hours of emergency preparedness will be discontinued,” said Hallgeir Torpe, deputy head of the Norwegian Taxi Association Hordaland and a Hardanger taxi driver to NRK.
While one can call for taxis at any time and always know that one driver is at work, the new law means that no taxi driver is obliged to be on standby at times of the day when there is less demand, such as midday or middle of the night.
Torpe pointed out that the elderly in particular, may use taxis during times that do not fall within the “new operating hours”. He said Denmark and Finland have already experienced that such a change in legislation would result in worse deals such as higher prices and poorer coverage in the districts.
“Finland wants to reverse this and is now investigating how to do it. In Sweden, the same thing is happening. There are no cars available at unfavourable times,” he said.
State Secretary Anders B. Werp (H) in the Ministry of Transport said the county may use the opportunity to align demands and offer services accordingly in the districts.
“Then the county will be able to grant exclusive rights in certain areas and set an obligation to drive throughout the day,” he added.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today