First published in AMS business magazine. Author: Lauren Comiteau

Blurring the lines between Amsterdam's public transport and taxis

Named after Abeltje, a beloved Dutch fictional elevator operator created by children’s author Annie M.G. Schmidt, the city’s newest taxi service serves its namesake well: its drivers welcome passengers not into elevators like Abeltje, but into 20 fully electric mint-green cars to begin their adventures. You never know who you’ll be sitting next to during the ride, says the company, adding an exciting social dimension to your next outing. Booking a seat instead of a car (by app only, with a credit card) helps keep costs down, as does the rider’s flexibility. Trying to fill the void between taxis and public transport, a trip to the airport averages €17 (as compared to an average starting price of €40 for the former and €4.50 for the latter). Abel says it’s had more customers and trips than it expected since beginning operations in January. “If we can make Abel a success here, we can make it in other countries, too,” says Operations Director David Baars of the company’s future plans.