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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Berlin and the airport district could form a common taxi area

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In the ongoing dispute over the Berlin taxi situation at the BER airport in Schönefeld, the taxi associations are making a new proposal to resolve the problems with the district of Dahme-Spreewald (LDS). According to this, Berlin and the district could become a common mandatory driving area for all vehicles based in this area.

So that all taxis in Berlin can pick up passengers at the airport in the future, transport companies based in south-east Berlin obtained unrestricted charging rights in Berlin. “It would be a win-win situation for Berlin and the Dahme-Spreewald district,” said Bodo Töpfer, president of the Berlin-Brandenburg Taxi Association.

Töpfer himself had presented the proposal on Wednesday to the senator for Transport Bettina Jarasch (Greens) and to the parliamentary groups of the Mobility Commission. This is intended to solve the problem that has existed for years that Berlin taxis have limited charging rights at BER.

Currently, 400 taxis drawn from the capital are authorized to pick up passengers at the airport. That’s only six percent of registered vehicles in Berlin, Töpfer complained. All the others would have to return empty after unloading passengers at the terminal. Also, Berlin and Brandenburg taxis can only load passengers alternately. Drivers from the capital, who were usually more numerous, waited much longer. All in all, this is “a meaningless solution,” said the industry representative.

Jarasch: Situation “maximally unsatisfactory”

Senator Jarasch agreed with this assessment. The situation is “maximally unsatisfactory”. However, he wants to use the new proposal as an opportunity to speak with the district administrator, Stephan Loge (SPD). He shouldn’t stay like this: “We would like the state of Brandenburg to get more involved in tackling the problem,” Jarasch said. She wants to address the issue at the joint cabinet meeting in Berlin and Brandenburg at the end of March. Because for a common mandatory driving area, new rules for taximeters in Brandenburg are necessary.

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Unlike in Berlin, transport companies in Brandenburg do not have to install a fiscal meter. Therefore, tax fraud cannot be ruled out and is one of the reasons why dodgy companies have moved their headquarters to the district, said Leszek Nadolski, director of the Berlin taxi guild.

“Competitive equality must be guaranteed,” Töpfer said. It was not clear whether this issue would lead to an agreement – ​​although the spokesmen of all the Berlin parliamentary groups present were in favour, Töpfer pointed out.

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