The night taxi service Collecto, suspended because of Covid-19, should soon make a comeback, Minister-President Rudi Vervoort announced yesterday morning in the Home Affairs Committee of the Brussels parliament.
The initiative allows people to take a collective taxi from some 200 pickup points situated beside STIB bus and tram stops for just €6. The service operates from 23:00 to 06:00 across the Brussels-Capital Region.
All licensed taxis in Brussels can participate: "The system is open. Taxis Verts will have to accept that a driver will switch to Collecto if they wish," Vervoort said. "The concession (paid to) Taxis Verts is only for the implementation and operation of the platform."
By opening up the app to other drivers, it is hoped that the system will be more effective and will not be held back by the shortage of drivers, which Taxis Verts as well as other transport companies are experiencing. "Taxis Verts would like to resume the Collecto service but, given the reorganisation of the group, the economic situation and the two-year suspension of the service, it is clear that it isn't ready to take up the full capacity."
An updated system
Some changes have been made to the service, which could be reactivated in early 2023. A traceability system via the application will be put in place to distinguish a Collecto journey from a classic journey. The fare will now be €6 rather than €5.
Parliament member Hicham Talhi was concerned about the visual identity of Collecto taxis and recalled the case of the fake taximan rapist who operated at the exit of Brussels nightclubs. For him, a real visual identity for this service is "a question of security".
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A total of 269,254 people were transported in collective taxis through 103,489 journeys in 2019. Taxis Verts, which won the concession to develop and operate the Collecto digital platform for the next five years, is negotiating details and financial terms with Brussels Mobility.