A few months ago, Taxi Leaks asked on the TfLTPH Twitter account if they could give a link to the legislation that allows Uber to operate it's new ride sharing Uberpool service, attached to their smartphone app.
In typical TfL style, I got no reply.
A reply was finally given to another driver, although not as comprehensive as we would've liked.
In reply LTPH said that the transport Act 85 permits ride sharing.....Unfortunately, they failed to point out that there are certain conditions which have to be adhered to with private hire undertaking shared rides with individual payments:
The conditions state quiet clearly:
2)The conditions are that—
(a)all the passengers carried on the occasion in question booked their journeys in advance; and
(b)each of them consented, when booking journey, to sharing the use of the vehicle on that occasion with others on the basis that a separate fare would be payable by each passenger for his own journey on that occasion.
TfLTPH's Twitter account completely ignores this and have posted a tweet referring to the fact that UberPool only use licensed private hire vehicles and require the specific consent of each customer involved.
We repeated the statement that each customer needs to be "pre-booked" and give their consent, we got this reply.
AND YET, THIS IS WHAT UBER TELL PASSENGERS
Uber have stated on numerous occasions, that they don't do pre bookings and in the recent Uberpool case where a young lady was assaulted by two male passengers, it transpired no one in the vehicle had ordered an Uberpool journey.
It's alleged that this has become common practise now as the journey on the whole, is more expensive and the company draws a larger commission from the driver than single pick up journeys.
Again we see Uber contravening regulations that should see their licence revoked, but TfL turn a blind eye and have bent over backwards to justify the fact that they licensed Uber in 2012 knowing full well they didn't comply with all the requirements necessary at that time.
a) Uber have never taken pre booking
b) Initially Uber never had a landline for bookings, a requirement under the PHV act 1998.
TfL however continue to lie about the situation by repeatingly putting out this tweet:
Questions that need to be answered:
Why are our orgs allowing this behaviour to go unchallenged?
Why are they not protecting the working practises of the drivers from whom they take money in the form of subscriptions?
In 2012 our representative orgs sat back and did nothing about a PH company who was illegally issued with 12 licence variations (satellite office licenses), the same week they were licensed as an operator, without first waiting the require 12 months from initial licensing as an operator.
This same company is now allowed by TfL, to turn up at certain venues around the city of London and set up private hire ranks, fed work by openly touting clipboard men.
TfL and their compliance teams always turn a blind eye to this particular operator, as it would seem, do our representative orgs.
They can't even say they didn't know about this issue, because Taxi Leaks has informed them on many occasions.
Unless our orgs get off their backsides and start taking TfL to task, then the whole future of Licensed Taxis in London is in danger of dying out.