- The athletes in their prime?
- The crowds?
- The national pride?
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Friday, August 09, 2013
A burglar who broke into a house and threatened a pensioner with a knife got more than he bargained for when the victim turned out to be a retired boxer who left him bruised and bleeding.
Frank Corti, 72, who served with the Royal Engineers in North Africa from 1956-58, dodged the knife and punched Gregory McCalium, 23, twice in the face, giving him a black eye and a swollen lip. He then restrained the attacker until police arrived.
McCalium, a barman, was given a four-and-a-half year prison sentence at Oxford Crown Court on Monday for aggravated burglary and was told by the judge he had "got what he deserved".
Ever since the New York State Supreme Court ruled that taxi-hailing apps were indeed legal, New York is teeming with upstart taxi-hailing apps. There’s Uber, Hailo, Taxi Magic to just name a few. Well, now there’s a new one! Praise be! Israel-based GetTaxi today has officially launched in New York, and is also announcing a $12 million Series C round of funding led by Kreos Capital.
GetTaxi is a ride ordering app. Joining the ranks of Uber and Hailo, it provides an app for hailing a car for when you don’t want to go outside and raise your hand for an hour. It differs from Hailo in that it doesn’t hail official yellow cabs but its own black cars it calls “G-Cars.” It differs from Uber in its claim that it will be more affordable and widespread. (It also affords users and drivers alike to make G-spot jokes, but I digress.) In addition, it caters to corporate customers, with more than 1,500 to date around the world, along with a customer loyalty program that will deliver discounts to frequent users (and cute monikers for loyal customers like ‘newbie,’ rookie,’ ‘pro,’ and the ever-coveted ‘g-master’).
Launched in Israel in 2010, GetTaxi is available in 4 countries and 20 cities around the world. It teams up with already established fleets of cars in each city that don’t have mobile hailing systems, and vets them to make sure each service and driver is licensed and insured to GetTaxi’s (supposedly rigorous) standards.
CEO Jing Herman says New York is the perfect place for GetTaxi. Right now there are about 13,000 yellow cabs in New York and, during peak times it’s often damn near impossible to hail a cab. New York natives call this the “bewitching hour,” when one 12-hour shift is going off duty and a new shift is starting, The result is a lot of Off Duty lights.
According to data just released, yellow taxi-hailing apps aren’t making things any better, with a 17 percent success rate of actually acquiring a taxi.
Herman believes the way to make a successful taxi app in New York (or for any major city, for that matter), is to harness the excess of black cars, that is, private limo services that generally drive big black sedans. According to Herman, there are currently 40,000 black cars out there.
She points to GetTaxi’s programs in Moscow, London, and Tel Aviv (just to name a few) as proof that GetTaxi has what it takes to make it in a tough town like New York. She’s not afraid to boast either: “We are definitely going to take over the market,” she told me.
Oh really? Despite the company’s financial backing I wonder how GetTaxi will rise above the rest. Now that taxi apps are officially legal in the city, the taxi app market is already getting jam-packed. The only real way to make some headway is to be the absolute, definitive cheapest and most reliable taxi company out there. The fact that it is connecting already working black car fleets with mobile technology gives it a chance, but no guarantees.
In addition, GetTaxi has to confront the threat of gypsy cabs, one of those gambles you take late at night when you’re in a random part of Brooklyn, drunk, and just want to get home. Sometimes the price is right; sometimes they gouge you. Herman told me GetTaxi is a better choice because it’s legal. Unregulated gypsy cabs are not.
Then again, cheapskates like me are not GetTaxi’s target user. Corporate types with expense accounts are.
There are plenty of them around, so GetTaxi certainly has a chance.
As for me, there’s always the subway.
It has been bought to our attention that Licensed Taxi Drivers are being denied their right to work.
Again we hear the same excuse "it's not our fraught, there's nothing we can do".
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Hackney carriage taxi drivers are now required to brand their vehicles in Royal Borough colours under new council guidelines.
Drivers must use a white vehicle, with a purple boot and bonnet, and place a borough logo on the side when they change their transportation.
The move, implemented by the council's licensing panel in April, was made to distinguish the taxis from private hire and dangerous unlicensed vehicles - but one driver says it makes them look like 'dustbin cars.'
Taxi driver Mohammed Sulaman said: "It's making life hard for us.
"The logo is the same as the ones on the dustbin cars. We are providing a service and our customers are people, not rubbish."
Cllr Carwyn Cox (Con, Hurley and Walthams), a member of the licensing panel, responded by stating the new-look cars were smart and public safety should take precedence following a string of recent attacks involving unlicensed vehicles posing as taxis.
Source: Maidenhead advertiser.
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Monday, August 05, 2013
Mehrban Khan, a member of the Bradford Hackney Carriage Association, thinks the facility would benefit disabled passengers – saying that 95 per cent of the districts hackney cabs are wheelchair-friendly.
But manager of Minicab firm AA Shipley, Craig Brook, which has a contract to provide a service at the station, said his company was more than capable of providing wheelchair access to customers.
In April 2012 Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Panel instructed officers to look into setting up a hackney carriage taxi stand at the station. Now, Mr Khan is questioning why it has not happened.
His frustration is shared by the deputy leader of Bradford Council Imran Hussain, who blamed Network Rail for the delay.
Coun Hussain said: “We have been pursuing Northern Rail to get taxi ranks at Shipley and Keighley stations for the past two years. The key issue for me is the gross unfairness for disabled people who are not able to access taxis at these stations. We are disappointed with the action from Northern Rail and will continue to lobby them about this issue.”
Mr Khan added: “Quite a lot of trains come through Shipley. People change there for Bradford, Bingley and Keighley and at the moment people have to phone for a taxi. We can be there all the time. It would be better for disabled people if they had that,” he said.
Mr Brook insists that disabled access is not an issue and that his drivers get to customers within about 20 seconds of being called from a free-phone line at the station. He said a hackney carriage rank would mean his drivers could not pick-up there, as private taxis are not allowed to drive into cab ranks.
“It would cause traffic chaos,” he said.
“We have four minibuses that have been made wheelchair accessible from our company alone and I know there’s a couple more.
“We’ve regular customers that use us to transport wheelchairs. It’s not a call we get often though just out of the blue.”
Mark Nicholson, the general manager of Disability Advice Bradford, which is based in Dockfield Road, Shipley, said a hackney carriage rank would be beneficial for all passengers, but that there was no issue with disabled people using private hire vehicles.
“Some of our clients that come to see us on Dockfield Road, do have to call for a taxi from the station, so to have any form of rank there for anyone – disabled, the elderly or otherwise, from a convenience point of view would be of great benefit,” he said.
He added that the quality of disability access across minicab firms throughout Bradford was extremely high.
Network Rail did not provide a comment.
I think it would be good to get a legal view on this at some point.
Helen Chapman says that marketing companies do not have to comply with the legal requirements for ads which include the words cab or taxi.
We believe they do.
From the PH Act 1998: Any person who issues, or causes to be issued, an advertisement which contravenes these provisions is guilty of an offence.
Also, Private Hire Companies are required to comply to this law and if they are advertising through a third party then they have technically broken that law.
It would be no different if a Private Hire company had a self employed tout who stood outside a nightclub and took bookings on their behalf.
If TFL are saying that Private Hire companies are exempt if the booking is taken by a third party and then referred to them , then where do they draw the line?