Thursday, October 31, 2013

TfL Threatens Taxi Drivers, After Hailo Accused Of JB.

In their recent Blog post, London's top Taxi hailing app "Hailo", controversially announced a new minimum fare policy. The Blog post states: 
"Let’s look at this from a driver’s perspective. Understandably, they want to spend as much time as possible with a passenger on board." 

“When they’re offered a Hailo job, they are happy to drive to the pickup location and wait a couple of minutes, but all that time is non-earning time. They may pass people with their hand out on the way to picking you up. So it can be quite disappointing if the resulting job is 200 yards down the road to the shop.

“In order to give you the most chance of getting a cab when you want one, we need every driver to know that the job is worth accepting – and that means guaranteeing them a reasonable minimum fare.”

The decision to impose the new minimum charge is a commercial decision taken by Hailo. 
Hailo's customers are advised of the new charges when making a booking. By signing up to use the app they are agreeing to the terms and condition published by Hailo.

Apparently a few customers have reacted adversely, with some saying they will in future be forced to use alternative apps.
We are led to believe, a complaint has been made to LTPH, saying;
"London Taxis are licensed by TfL and are subject to a fares policy set by the Mayor that already includes a minimum fare of £2.40"

Helen Chapman, interim General Manager for London Taxi and Private Hire, said yesterday:
“We are investigating complaints about Hailo introducing a minimum fare policy. 

“It is against the licensing regulations for any taxi driver to charge a customer more than the metered fare.  
Action will be taken against any driver found to be doing so.”

When Hailo first introduced a £5 minimum fare, it was welcomed by John Mason, former Director of LTPH and at that time, no one at TfL or LTPH mentioned anything about it being in breach of licensing regulations.

Indeed, a couple of years ago TfL along with Westminster City Council, introduced a new type of Taxi rank in the centre of London's West End. The Golden Rank, as it was known, had a range of minimum fares. The cheapest being £25. Some passengers were charged £25 to travel just a few hundred yards.

The Golden Rank was welcomed by TfL with no word of it being in contravention of the fares policy or driver's licensing regulations.

Again we've seen LTPH unfairly attack the London Taxi Driver. 

If Helen Chapman is so worried about the public being overcharged, or breaches in licensing regulation, why has she said and done nothing about the nightly rip off of passengers who are touted by RD2 drivers illegally parked in Regent Street, by the Swallow Street Arch, illegally plying for hire?

Passengers from bars in Swallow Street wishing to go just a few hundred yards are often touted and charged between £15-25 for jobs of under a mile.

This situation has been ongoing for over a year since RD2 were controversially issued a satellite office license by LTPH for The Groucho Bar in breach of TfL's own licensing regulation.

If TfL/TPH are to take issue over minimum fares, it must be right across the spectrum and take into consideration minimum fares charged by radio circuits and ride sharing schemes at stations, both of which were ongoing practises long before TfL came into existence.

Helen Chapman's statement yesterday was uninformed and should be retracted immediately. 

Taxi Leaks will make space available should Hailo wish to reply to Helen Chapman's statement. 

Read Hailo's Blog post here:


Rev. Vaclav Haldady said...

If LTPH wish to make constructive use of their time, I suggest they get issuing temporary licences to the long standing upright citizens that drive cabs so they can get back to work.Funny how TfL fail to answer why they stopped doing so and only focus on the DBS issue.

A disciple of mine got theirs in a week as the person requiring it (not TfL) used another subcontractor (how many links in this system to break down?)

We assume (as we have to do) that these complInts were made in writing. No doubt the. Same applies to the. 'Complaints' about the Finsbury Park rank whIch all stems down to TfL's woeful traffic management.

Some people hold the view that TfL have been a positive influence, we can be sure they are not working cab drivers or is is that they are only trying to convince themselves? The strategy of never questioning what TfL do has been thrown in their faces?

Here' s another example of the 'support' we get from TFL.

If customers don't like an App. or a radio circuit or a PH firms, they can use another or even better just street hail.

If we had a proper flag fall, all of this would not be an issue

'People who stand in the middle of the road are run over'

Editorial said...

Many drivers were scared of adverse publicity regarding increasing the minimum fare,
But now after this unwarranted attack from Helen Chapman, I believe drivers will rally round and close ranks behind Hailo.


Hulye Picsak said...

Drivers slagging off Hailo on Twitter, on forum, get a life!
Watch the numbers of subscribers increase now with pound notes being dangled in front of their noses
Watch the coverage improve
Better service, more customers

Build it and they will come
Provide an excellent service and they WILL pay.

To those who leave, as Arnie said "you'll be back"

Paul B said...

Yes I have suggested a £4.50 Flag Fall (zone1 tube cash fare) and they get a longer up front ride, that along with a 2% rise is the least we should ask for as we got a below inflation 'rise' last year.

I will be proposing this both as an individual and to my union.

For those that will come on here saying that will turn customers away, my answer is 'who to?' , we are already the cheapest!

40 K vehicles age limits and time on the KOL for an ever lesser return, maybe I've missed something here?

For those 'Team Positive' people out there who will no doubt cry foul, can I suggest you could consider starting an app. or a radio circuit that offers rides under the meter, let's say 20% off to get them locals flooding in!

Suggestions6 for names are:

Swaetshopo', DialaSlave or Exploitacab.

Maybe recruit drivers with the slogan:

'Help us win the race to the bottom!'


Anonymous said...

LTPH cannot argue against this minimum fare as they for the past 2 years have accepted it, a bit like the feeder park fee at LHR, because the trade has accepted the practice for so long its impossible to take legal action against it.

LTPH are just pandering to their paymasters...Griffin and Co

President Meteron said...

As ever like the CRB issue, muddle, confusion, spin and knee jerk reactions at TfL.

The senior management of TfL state often that they could get far more moolah in the private sector.

Give it a go and give us a break.

Anonymous said...

It is my view that drivers, whilst working under the umbella of Hailo, are legally employed as private hire drivers and therefore can accept the minimum fare even if the amount shown on the meter is of a lesser amount

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