Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Did You Believe The TXe Was Designed To Be A Bespoke Taxi... Well Think Again


Most electric vehicles go from home to work-work to home, maybe an hour or so each way!

Most Taxis normally work 8-10 hrs shifts, some a bit more! 

Question: Have Geely built us a bespoke Taxi?

Or with a potential production line of 25,000 vehicles pa, were they looking to get their new electric delivery van, inner-city road tested for free?

We’ve been told that Geely designed and built a bespoke Electric Taxi, designed to suit best needs the Taxi market.

But is the new TXe no more that a converted delivery van?

It will be interesting to see the retail price of the van (up against the £63k unsubsidised TXe) which will not be operating in a restricted marked! 

      Oh dear, how sad, never mind !!!

This post from Auto Express:

LEVC, or the London EV Company, announced a zero-emissions commercial van some time ago, and a disguised test mule has now been caught testing in the Scandinavian winter. 

The story with LEVC is long and it dates back a hundred years; once, there was a company called Carbodies, which manufactured those classic black taxicabs everyone associates with London streets. After a number of ownership and name changes, the company was liquidated in 2013 and the Chinese carmaker Geely formed The London Taxi Company out of it. Last year it was rebranded the London EV Company, and part of its rebirth was the introduction of an electric London cab called the LEVC TX. They are manufactured in a new facility near Coventry, England, and plans include branching out from making just taxicabs. 

This light commercial van version, about the size and shape of a RAM Promaster City, is designed for urban deliveries. It is a range extender hybrid, and running the test mule's plates at the British DVLA's site showed the late 2017-registered test vehicle's fuel type as "Hybrid Electric (Clean)". We are also detecting a cloud of exhaust in the last photo, as the vehicle guns away from the photographer; if that's not just powder snow, that'll be the range extender working. The camouflaged vehicle's front will most likely resemble the taxi sibling, just as a more workmanlike version; the rear end loses the detailing that reminds onlookers of the classic taxi and gains a more van-like shape. 

LEVC CEO Chris Gubbey announced the vehicle earlier, saying: "This is going to be the future proofed 'white van' that people have been waiting for. Designed solely for the urban commercial sector, dedicated to the people who keep our cities working, it will be clean, competitive and ready for cities of the future." 

Company chairman Carl-Peter Forster added: "In addition to our brand-new taxi, the manufacturing of this all new light commercial van is a transformative step for the company as we will move from a single product, single market organization to a multi-product, multi market organization." Information of the van's sales in the U.S. has not yet been given.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Fraudsters are using the app to create entire networks built on rides that never occur to extract real cash from stolen credit cards

RUSSIAN fraudsters are hijacking Uber in collaboration with crooked drivers to launder dirty money.

The intricate scam sees the tricksters act as middlemen for clients – organising “ghost rides” through the Uber app that never take place.

The client pays for these non-existent journeys using stolen credit cards.

And – once Uber takes its standard cut from what it thinks is a legitimate ride – the customer, the con-artist and the driver make away with the now clean money.

Several Russian forum posts, spotted by The Daily Beast, detail how the dodgy plot works.

They also include ads seeking corrupt Uber drivers, according to The Next Web.

The technical part of the scam sees the trickster use an emulator (a piece of software that allows them to run a virtual Android phone on their laptop) as well as a virtual private network (VPN).

The latter switches their machine’s location to the same city as the client/passenger.

Now, the trickster is essentially ready to act as the ‘ghost Uber’ dispatcher, with a roster of crooked drivers on his beck and call.

He then orders trips through the app, while communicating details of the ride outside of it.

Typically, the fraudulent middleman uses the Telegram app to chat with the passenger, who provides the pickup and drop-off locations.

The scammer then replies with the details of the corrupt chauffeur (including the make of car, driver name, and license plate).

Judging by forum posts, the client forks out for the illicit service through Russian payment sites, such as Qiwi, Yandex.Money or Sberbank.

In one of these online threads, a trickster boasts that their service runs in 20 cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as Kiev in Ukraine and Minsk in Belarus.

Another post indicates that similar ghost rides have been set up in New York and Portugal as well.

We reached out to Uber for comment and will update the article with its response.

A similar, but albeit less complicated, Airbnb scam was uncovered by The Daily Beast in November.

It involved con-artists extracting cash out of stolen credit cards through fake Airbnb bookings with the help of complicit hosts.

In both cases, fraudsters are manipulating online maketplaces – which are much harder to monitor – to launder money digitally.

Source : the Sun

Over the past year or so, we've seen many videos made by drivers, showing Public Carriage Officers (PCOs) refusing to show their photo ID authority card. Many will only show their badge. 
We have now been informed by TfLTPH that all PCOs must show their photo ID authority card on request by the driver or membe if the public. 

Make Sure You Have Your Say: TfL Taxi Fares Consultation 2018

Click link to take consultation


We are seeking views on proposed changes to taxi fares and tariffs in London.  


Transport for London (TfL) licenses and regulates taxi and private hire services in London. As part of this, we set the maximum fares that taxis (black cabs) can charge. These fares are determined by tariffs that are reviewed each year and normally updated to reflect changes in a Cost Index which tracks year on year changes to the costs of operating a taxi in London.

We are interested in your views on the following:

·         Whether the minimum fare of £2.60 should be increased and if so by how much

·         Whether Tariff 1 and Tariff 2 should be increased

·         Whether Tariff 3 should be frozen

·         Whether the tariff rate for journeys over six miles (Tariff 4) should be changed

·         Removing the social costs element from the Cost Index

·         Adding transaction costs for card payment devices to the Cost Index – this would be in addition to the 20 pence minimum fare increase introduced in April 2016

·         Continuing the present arrangement that allows taxi drivers to add an extra charge of 40 pence to the fare if fuel prices increase significantly and reduce fares by 40 pence if fuel prices fall significantly 

·         Whether there should be an increase to the additional charge for taxi journeys that start from a taxi rank at Heathrow Airport and, if so, by how much

·         Reviewing options for fixed or capped fares to or from Heathrow Airport

·         Increasing by 50 pence the fares for the fixed fare, shared taxi schemes that operate from Euston Station

·         Adding fares for six passengers sharing a taxi to the shared taxi conversion table

·         Updating the card payment device requirements for taxis so that all drivers accept American Express as well as Visa and MasterCard


Please go to our consultation website: You will find more information about the background to these proposals, as well as a questionnaire seeking your views. Responses must be received by 27 April 2018.


We are seeking the views of anyone with interest in these matters on these proposals. Please pass this message on to others who might be interested.


If you have any questions about this, please email: with ‘Taxi Tariff review’ in the subject line.


Yours faithfully

 Tom Moody

Head of Policy and Service Development

Taxi & Private Hire

Transport for London



This is what Khan's Met Police buget cuts have done to our once caring capital.... 

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Second Oxford Street Consultation To Be ReOpened After Mistake By Deanyb71

You couldn't make it up (as they say) in the same spirit of the Brexit vote and the interference from multimillion air MAp's who are speaking a second referendum, the second 'Oxford Street Pedestrianisation' is to be reopened...

Will they just keep reopening until they get the result they want....or like in the pas just do what hey want to do regardless???

The Better Oxford Street Twitter account announced today:-
Oxford Street Consultation Reopens after TfL error "because we published this address, by error, on our consultation web page as one method of submitting a response. We apologise unreservedly for this." 

Reopened because the result didn’t go the right way (for them)... stop wasting time and money because we all know what’ll happen regardless of the consultation....

It's All Going Pete Tong For Uber Drivers In India As They Go On Indefinite Strike From Today Over Low Pay

Mumbai:  The transport wing of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has called for a strike of drivers of cab aggregators Uber and Ola starting from today.

The strike has been called by the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena which has claimed that several drivers are not being able to cover costs due to falling business.

"Ola and Uber had given big assurances to the drivers, but today they are unable to cover their costs. They have invested Rs. 5-7 lakh and were expecting to make Rs. 1.5 lakh a month. But drivers are unable to make even half of this because of the mismanagement by these companies," Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena told PTI.

Union leaders said that drivers in other cities like New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune among others would also be participating in the strike. 

Mr Naik further alleged that these taxi-hailing companies were giving first priority to company-owned cars rather than driver-owned vehicles, causing a slump in their business.

If their demands were not met they would be going ahead with the strike as expected, he indicated.

Other taxi unions, including the Mumbai Taximen's Union, have extended support.

Meanwhile, police has issued notices to leaders of the union under section 149 of CrPC relating to unlawful assembly.

"Notices of section 149 of CrPC have been issued to Sanjay Naik, president, Arif Shaikh and Nitin Nandgaokar of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena as preventive action.

If they violate any orders, they are liable to be prosecuted," said Pandit Thorat, senior inspector of the Andheri police station.

In Mumbai alone there are over 45,000 such cabs but a slump in business has seen a drop of about 20 per cent in their numbers.

The cab hailing companies have so far stayed away from interfering in the matter. "We have been informed by the Mumbai Police that they have proactively taken all the necessary steps to ensure safety of commuters during the cab rides in the city," an Ola spokesperson said.

Source NdTV

Almost Five Years On And TfL Have Said And Done Nothing About UberBV Operating Without A Licence. by...Jim Thomas

Open letter to TFL's Commissioner, Mike Brown...

Dear Mike
Now you've been shown the evidence, that UberBV have been (and still are) operating in London without an operators Licence, why have you not ordered them to cease operating with immediate effect?

Was this not your reaction when you found Taxify operating without a Licence in their name?
What makes UberBV different to Taxify?

After all Mike, you said you wanted it to go on record that you had nothing to do with the initial licensing of Uber!!!
Perhaps you would also like to be seen by your actions as having nothing to do with the UberBV cover up?

Over the past 10 days, thanks to Tim Fenton's 'Zelo Street' blog, it's become clear that UberBV has been operating in London since 2012, as a Private Hire operator, through a smart phone instant hail app, without holding a TfL Private Hire operators licence.

We now know this to be fact!

We also have evidence that TfL knew this was the case as long ago as 2013. 


   Cliff Llewellyn centre with glasses.

According to Tim Fenton, Cliff Llewellyn wrote to Uber London boss Jo Bertram in December 2013 and listed compliance issues that, “require your urgent attention”. These allegedly included:

Clarification of the legal entity between Uber BV and Uber London Limited.

Which company will be making the provision, acceptance and the undertaking of PHV bookings, once Point (1) has been addressed?

Review of the Uber website to reflect the London legislation.

The charging of a fare using a Time x Distance device which is in contravention of the 1998 Act

Review of your sub-contraing processes to reflect that all bookings go through the sub-contactor and not directly to the driver.

Tim Fenton said Mr Llewellyn’s deadline for Uber to take action, December 23 2013, came and went without any compliance issues being addressed, even though his report concluded: “If they (Uber) fail to comply within a reasonable time period, then enforcement action is the only option.”

What happened next? 
According to Tim Fenton: “Uber by-passed Cliff Llewellyn, went to the Foreign Office, who went to Downing Street, who roped in the Department for Trade, who appear to have put the arm on TfL’s top brass to let Uber carry on anyway”. 

TfL and Uber have yet to comment on the allegations.

Tim Fenton's latest revelation carries a report regarding John Mason's presentation which confirms TFL's light touch approach to licensing regulations... favouring Uber's London operation:
In Tim's article, he posts slides of the presentation 
TfL Approach to Apps”, where John Mason restates “A light touch regulatory approach”, and ends with “Let the quality of product and service provided to passengers dictate market”.


More emails showing involvement by John Mason

See Tims latest Zelo Street Post: Click Here

To this day, TfL have said and done nothing with the evidence they've had all along!
Even though they knew, all Uber's Journeys were initially booked and dispatched directly to drivers, by the unlicensed UberBV, they pushed regulation and public safety aside and allowed this modus operandi to continue regardless.

The facts are now out in the open, posted on numerous Taxi and PH sites and publications. Virtually everyone in our trades know what's been going on:-

Not only that, TfL have the evidence that it's the drivers who accept the bookings, direct in vehicle in contravention of the PH Vehicles Act 1998.

So Mike, why as Commisioner of TfL have you not acted immediately, on the information given to you?

Why are TfL continuing to cover up the facts in Uber's favour?

Just incase you missed Tim's earlier posts see them by Clicking Here

Jim Thomas
Editor Taxi Leaks 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Companies Queuing Up To Relocate Away From The Capital, Over TfL And The Mayor's Crazy Traffic Schemes

A senior employee at Unilever has told a Taxi Leaks researcher, that owning to the difficulty in getting to meetings at their Blackfriars HQ, the company is relocating to Rotterdam. 

Paul, our researcher said, the conversation took place, while taking home the senior member of Unilever staff. 

The passenger said "owning to the nightmare of getting into work to attend meetings, it’s been decided to relocate the company’s HQ to Holland".

He went on to say how the changes to the area along the Embankment, Blackfriars Bridge and Farringdon Street, have made the area virtually inaccessible for most of the working day. 

Recent road works in Queen Victoria street and the Bank Junction have also added to the problem.

So much for Sadiq Khans catch phrase “London’s Open”.

Istanbul taxi drivers go to court to seek shutdown of Uber

(Reuters) - Istanbul's taxi drivers have taken Uber to court, accusing the U.S.-based ride-hailing app of endangering their livelihoods in a case that could crimp its business in Europe's largest city.

It is the latest instance of court action, restrictions, bans and protests around the world over Uber's high-tech, low-cost challenge to traditional taxi services. Uber was forced to shut down in Denmark and Hungary and has suspended operations in Morocco while it gets in line with local laws.

Hundreds of Istanbul taxi drivers rallied in front of a city courthouse holding the first hearing on the case on Monday, holding up signs reading "We do not want the global thief Uber".

In their court action, the cabbies accuse Uber of running an unlicensed taxi service in Turkey and want the app banned. The next hearing was scheduled for June.

Tensions have risen in Istanbul, home to over 15 million people, since Uber entered the Turkish market in 2014. Some Uber drivers say they have been threatened and beaten by yellow cab drivers, an accusations the taxi industry denies.

Public sentiment on social media appears to be overwhelmingly in favor of Uber, with "#idon'tusetaxis" and "#don'ttouchuber" becoming trending topics in Turkish.

Some users of Uber have said they are fed up with what they call the rough manners and reckless driving of conventional cabbies, the circuitous, fare-inflating routes they take and the stench of cigarettes inside their vehicles.

"Until today, taxi drivers chose passengers," one user, Sinem, tweeted, referring to taxi drivers who won't accept short trips, even for pregnant women. "Now we want to choose our means of transportation. #donttouchuber."

Another user, Orhan, said that Uber drivers were more courteous and did not overcharge passengers.

Private broadcaster Haberturk reported last week that a group of taxi drivers recently hailed an Uber car and then beat the driver and damaged his vehicle.


Such incidents are staged to sway public opinion and shape the outcome of the court case, according to Eyup Aksu, head of the Chamber of Istanbul Taxi Businesses, which represents around 50,000 taxi drivers with 18,000 licensed cabs.

"The reported incidents are plots and provocations done by Uber drivers in order to influence the case," Aksu said.

The issue has been escalated all the way to President Tayyip Erdogan, Aksu said, adding that the Interior Ministry was drafting regulations to foster a solution.

"If we do not get support politically, we will continue to repeat our stance to the politicians," he said.

No one was available for comment at the Interior Ministry.

Taxi drivers point to onerous costs they must pay but Uber does not. Number plates for taxis, required in Istanbul to drive a yellow cab cost around 1.5 million lira ($385,000), though in most cases a cabbie may "borrow" a plate from its owners for a monthly fee of 4,000-7,000 lira. 

Uber said that about 2,000 yellow cab drivers use the Uber app to find customers, while another 3,000 work for UberXL, using large vans to transport groups to parties, or run people with bulky luggage to Istanbul's main airport.

It declined to reveal the number of Uber users in Turkey, where it operates in Istanbul, and in the resort towns of Bodrum and Cesme in the summer months.

"We are appalled by the violence and are doing everything we can to support (our) drivers," Uber said in an emailed statement, adding that it could not elaborate on the court case while it was still ongoing.

One Uber XL driver, Irfan Er, said a taxi driver threatened him with a knife one night last week as he was carrying passengers. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Cyclist Known For Aggression Towards London Taxi Drivers, Launches Unwarranted Attack On Female Lenny Etheridge

Taxi drivers have to put up with all kinds of abuse from disgruntled cyclist. 

A cyclist known for his aggression towards London Taxi drivers, launched a horrendous attack on a lady Taxi driver, yesterday afternoon. The whole incident was recorded on a bus CCTV, behind the Taxi. 

The bus driver has said he is a willing to be a witness to the attack. Police were called to the incident, but the cyclist ran off before they arrived.

Observers said, the cyclist approached the Licensed Taxi at the lights. He got off his bike and proceeded to smash both of the lady's wing mirrors. He then threw three punches towards the female Taxi drivers face, through the open window, as she sat terrified in her cab.  

This is the face of the aggressor who is alleged to have launched the unwarranted attack on a female Cabby in Southwark Street by the lights with Great Suffolk Street.

The police have shown great interest in this unwarranted attack. They said "the cyclist is well known to us and will be easy to find".

The lady cabby was not far from her garage and after a phone call, a mechanic rushed to her assistance in his van.

The bus driver was very helpful telling her, the whole incident has been captured on the buses CCTV system. 
By the time the police arrived, the despicable, cowardly cyclist had shot off.

If you see this man, please alert the police. The job's dangerous enough without having to put up with lunatics like this!

What they said on Twitter!

Uber Accused Of Silencing Women Who Claim Sexual Assault By Drivers

Court records reveal company says women must settle through arbitration, a move critics say stops the public from learning of rapes

Uber is trying to force women who say they were sexually assaulted by drivers to resolve their claims behind closed doors rather than in the courts, a move that critics say silences victims and shields the company from public scrutiny.

Court records in a California class-action lawsuit revealed that the ride-sharing firm has argued that female passengers who speak up about being raped in an Uber must individually settle their cases through arbitration, a private process that often results in confidentiality agreements. 

Nine women from across the US have joined the case, seeking to represent all women who have been assaulted or experienced violence in Uber cars in hopes of pushing the corporation to reform and better protect passengers. Uber, however, has filed a motion arguing that the riders agreed to privately arbitrate all disputes when they signed up for the ride-share service and thus have no right to file a lawsuit. 

Uber’s lawyers are relying on a legal mechanism that has faced intense scrutiny in Silicon Valley over the last year as the #MeToo movement has shone a light on sexual misconduct in US workplaces and in Hollywood. Arbitration clauses have prevented victims of sexual harassment and discrimination from moving forward with lawsuits, allowing companies to avoid public trials, and critics say it makes it easier for serial offenders to keep their jobs and target new victims. 

Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer whose viral account of sexual harassmentsparked a reckoning about abuse in the male-dominated tech industry, has pushed for an end to arbitration agreements. In December, Microsoft became the first high-profile tech company to announce it would eliminate forced arbitration, recognizing that the “silencing of people’s voices” can perpetuate sexual misconduct. 

“Our clients deserve a trial,” said Jeanne M Christensen, one of the class-action attorneys who filed a motion Thursday fighting Uber’s efforts to push the women into arbitration. “The goal is to force Uber to acknowledge that this is happening and to do something about it.” 

Christensen argued that arbitration prevents the public from learning about the frequency and severity of rapes and assaults by Uber drivers and inevitably results in non-disclosure agreements that silence the women, making it less likely that other victims will speak up. 

In the case of one plaintiff from Miami, an Uber driver carried the intoxicated passenger into her home when he dropped her off and raped her, according to the complaint. A Los Angeles driver allegedly assaulted another plaintiff who fell asleep in his car. A 26-year-old plaintiff from San Francisco said an Uber driver pushed his way into her apartment building and groped her. 

The women are “horrified and shocked that this is what happened to them, and they are also horrified that people aren’t talking about it, and that Uber has been fairly successful at keeping it out of the news”, said Christensen. 

An Uber spokesperson said in an email: “The allegations brought forth in this case are important to us and we take them very seriously. Arbitration is the appropriate venue for this case because it allows the plaintiffs to publicly speak out as much as they want and have control over their individual privacy at the same time.”

The spokesperson did not, however, respond to questions about whether Uber’s arbitration settlement agreements allow the women to speak out or if they include standard confidentiality clauses. Christensen also noted that the women already have control over their privacy – they are listed as “Jane Does” in the suit. 

Veena Dubal, an associate law professor at the University of California, Hastings, who has advocated for Uber drivers’ rights, said she has interviewed drivers who have filed claims against the company and were subsequently unable to speak to her due to settlement agreements. 

People involved in class-action suits against Uber “want the public and the state and Uber to recognize that their experiences are not random”, said Dubal. “They are the result of a structural problem. … They want Uber to make changes.” 

Uber has an interest in removing these cases from the public eye,” said Bryant Greening, an attorney with LegalRideshare, which represents Uber riders and drivers. “It’s despicable … It’s a public safety issue and it’s an issue that’s relevant to our community.

Source : The Gaudian 


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