Saturday, February 13, 2016
Our view is:
There are so many problems with this issue they haven't thought through....
If It's linked to the meter what happens if little Johnny jams a lolly stick in the machine in the back at 6pm Friday night ?
There are drivers who for whatever reason do not have a bank account (yes that is true).
The United Cabbies Group are NOT anti credit card, we need to encourage drivers to use them voluntairly wherever they can.
Friday, February 12, 2016
Uber has agreed to pay $28.5 million to settle two lawsuits that say it misled customers about its safety procedures and fees.
About 25 million customers filed the two class-action lawsuits regarding trips made between January 1, 2014 and January 31, 2016.
They attacked Uber for charging a fee of up to $2.30 per trip for what it called industry-leading background checks on potential drivers. But Uber didn't do the kind of fingerprint checks required of taxi drivers.
Under the settlement, Uber also would stop using certain safety-related advertising language and would rename its Safe Ride Fee as a Booking Fee.
A federal judge in San Francisco, where the company is headquartered, must still approve the deal.
Uber said its technology does provide safety features, such as track trips through GPS and sharing a driver's photo identification and license plate number before the passenger gets into the car.
'We are glad to put these cases behind us and we will continue to invest in new technology and great customer services so that we can help improve safety in the cities we serve,' Uber said in a statement.
'However no means of transportation can ever be 100 percent safe. Accidents and incidents do happen,' it said. 'That's why it's important to ensure that the language we use to describe safety at Uber is clear and precise.'
Similar lawsuits filed by the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles are still pending.
Lyft, one of Uber's competitors, agreed in 2014 to pay $250,000 and to stop claiming its background checks were among the best in the industry.
Governments around the globe are grappling with how to regulate and monitor ride-hailing companies. Taxi and limousine drivers and companies complain that the app makers should be subjected to the same regulations and fees they face around the world.
The ride-booking companies counter that their drivers are private contractors who use their technology to find customers in need of rides.
In France, Uber taxi driver unions have just claimed more than $67 million worth of damages in a lawsuit regarding UberPop, an app launched in Paris in February 2014, which enabled any registered Uber user to act as a driver in their own car. Uber suspended the app in July 2015
Uber drivers in New York went on strike earlier this month to protest fare cuts after the company cut its rates. They dropped from $2.15 to $1.75 for the standard UberX service and the basic fare went from $3 to $2.
In January last year, Uber announced it would launch a food delivery app in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago Austin, Washington D.C, Houston Dallas, Seattle and Atlanta. UberEATS should be fully available by March, placing Uber in competition with the popular food delivery website Seamless.
Customers attacked Uber for charging a fee of up to $2.30 per trip for industry-leading background checks on potential drivers, even though it didn't conduct the kind of fingerprint checks required of taxi drivers. A federal judge in San Francisco, where the company is headquartered (file picture), must still approve the deal
Source : Daily Mail
That's the date of the next TfL board meeting at City Hall, when the board should reject out of hand the LTPH PH regulation amendments. I won't go into the detail but there are many defects in the methodology that make it unfit.
What's absolutely clear, the Mayor's appointee (remember not ours folks always remember that) from the taxi trade, is Mr Bob Oddy former general secretary and current deputy GS of the LTDA.
His duty to his fellow cab drivers and members is absolutely clear, he has to act to reject this report and lobby the other members of the board to do so.
So we need to be there on foot and in the chamber, (Don't give them the chance to eject you) and as the famous signal at Trafalgar said 'England expects'.
Whilst your writing this in your diary, put the "All trade meeting" to be hosted by the RMT at Conway Hall 7th March at approx 6.30 in there too.
A big turnout is expected and if you have something to say or want to listen to the issues come along.
Great turnout in Westminster this week, news blackout from the 'impartial' BBC and the usual pathetic sound bites from TfL.
So see you on the 7th and 17th of next month, for today we await the Uber executives trail verdict in France.
Let's hope they ejectez le clef.
Je suis Spartacus
TfL have today issued a press release to the trade, announcing the intended changes to the regulation regarding the mandating of credit card payment acceptance and the conditions attached.
After much ado about the customer surcharge being scrapped, we were originally informed that the driver would be responsible for any payment processing charge.
We were also told that in the interests of fairness, any charge would be capped at 3%. We were then told this would be non negotiable on our part.
But it seems it wasn't non negotiable on the part of third party TfL partners who have said they can't survive making a living off the backs of the Taxi trade with just a 3% charge.
And so our regulator scrapped the cap.
I recently asked TfL on the open forum of their Twitter Account if the cap had been scrapped....a simple question requiring a yes or no...and was given this:
Credit and debit card and contactless payments to be accepted in all London taxis
Credit and debit card mandate
All London taxis will be required to accept card payments, including contactless, from 3 October 2016, making travelling by taxi easier and a more attractive option for passengers.
The acceptance of card and contactless payments was the subject of a Transport for London (TfL) consultation at the end of last year that found 86 per cent of respondents backed card acceptance, with 68 per cent agreeing that passengers should also be able to pay using contactless payments.
TfL also committed to work with the card payment industry to link card payment devices directly to the taximeter in future.
The changes in relation to card payments are as follows:
2 April 2016
Any existing signage that advises passengers there is a card payment surcharge must be removed
3 October 2016
TfL is working with card payment systems suppliers to ensure they are prepared to meet the changes, which include the new requirement that a card payment terminal must be fitted within the passenger compartment. All TfL approved card payment systems must continue to have the facility to print card transaction receipts in accordance with the following:
TfL is designing signage to indicate acceptance of card payments and more information will follow in due course.
General Manager, Taxi and Private Hire
12 February 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016
PARIS (AP) — Two top Uber executives appeared today in court in charges that could send them to prison and offer the ride-hailing company one of its most serious legal challenges to date in France.
The San Francisco-based company shut down the low-cost UberPop service, which connected users to non-professional drivers and prompted the criminal charges. But it continues to operate in France despite repeated strikes and sometimes violent tensions with taxi drivers, and is not outlawed entirely as it is in Spain and Italy.
Charges against Thibaud Simphal, general manager for France, and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, chief for Western Europe, include running an illegal taxi operation, commercial deception and violation of French privacy law by illegally stocking, processing and recording personal information.
They face up to five years in prison and a 300,000 euro ($338,000) fine each if convicted. Uber France is also charged and faces a 1.5 million-euro ($1.7 million) fine.
The two managers were notified of the charges directly by the Paris prosecutor's office just after being held in custody for hours last June.
A spokesman for Uber France, Thomas Meister, said it is "extremely unusual to be summoned to appear in court directly by a prosecutor" after a police investigation. He also questioned the lack of oversight from an investigating judge or the French agency that specializes in privacy violations.
"Our lawyers don't even know what we are exactly blamed for," especially in the privacy counts, Meister told The Associated Press ahead of the trial.
More than 200 UberPop drivers have been fined under fast-track procedures in France and one was handed a 15-day suspended prison term, but Thursday's trial is the first for Uber managers in France. Uber France has already been convicted of commercial deception and fined 150,000 euros ($170,000) over UberPop.
French taxis drivers argue that Uber sidesteps taxes, social charges and licensing fees, and endangers passengers.
Uber calls the French system outdated and says it needs radical reform to keep up with technological changes.
"We are not challenging labor law", said Meister, the Uber France spokesman. "We rather put order into the system. We are the symptom of a problem, not responsible for the problem."
Meister complained critics point the finger only at Uber, not at similar smartphone app-based services like Heetch, a French startup. "There are double standards", he said.
The French government has kept up its offensive with document checks of drivers suspected to be illegally moonlighting for Uber and similar services.
On Thursday, hours before the start of the trial, police teamed up with anti-fraud investigators to check taxis and car services at Paris' Gare de Lyon train station. Several chauffeurs were fined for illegal taxi activity after being caught carrying a single passenger. The drivers have particular status allowing them to carry a minimum of two passengers, but many skirt the regulations and use platforms like Uber to pick up single passengers.
"We are talking about transporting people. So when you are in this business you need to have a qualification and respect the rules," said Laurent Grandguillaume, the new mediator in the conflict between taxis and Uber-like alternatives.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Many drivers complain that every time we demo, the media say it's about Uber
Well, lets get one thing straight
UBER are not the elephant in the room!
UBER are at the centre of our demise.
If we are scared to mention Uber, then we've already lost.
This demo is directed towards Downing Street, to highlight the fact that the government's no1 and no2 are heavily involved in supporting this company, at our expense.
TfL, on orders from this government have turned a blind eye to existing regulations in order to facilitate the expansion of UBER. You don't have to be a genius to work out their agenda.
We are not frightened of competition and this demo is not about fair competition
It's about unfair completion.
Watch passionate speech from Trevor Merrells, Campaign Manager of the UCG
Flag-fall up from £2.40 to £2.60
Rate 1 metres down from 126.2 to 123.9 – seconds down from 27.1 to 26.6.
£2.59 per mile, an increase of £0.04 per mile up to £17.80.
Rate 2 metres down from 102.5 to 100.6 – seconds down from 22.0 to 21.6
£3.19 per mile, an increase of £0.05 per mile up to £21.40.
Rate 3 metres down from 82.7 to 81.2 – seconds down from 17.8 to 17.5
£3.96 per mile, an increase of £0.07 per mile up to £26.00.
Rate 4 metres down from 88.5 to 86.9 – seconds down from 19.0 to 18.7
£3.70 per mile, an increase of £0.06 per mile.
Contribution to Total3
Garage & servicing – premises5
Garage & Servicing – labour5
Sep – Nov 2015
Aug – Oct 2015
Aug – Oct 2015
Total Operating Costs
Average national earnings8
Aug – Oct 2015
1. The index components are as normally used in the cost formula. Further details are available on request.
2. ‘Weight’ is the proportion that the component contributes to the total cost per mile.
3. ‘Contribution to total’ indicates the importance of each component’s cost change in determining the overall cost change. It is calculated for each component as the product of its percentage cost increase and its weight. The Grand Total is the sum of the individual components’ contributions.
4. The ‘latest’ column under ‘Data availability’ indicates the dates to which data in the ‘cost increase’ column relates.
5. As agreed in 2011, costs for Parts, Tyres and Garaging will be uplifted by the yearly change in the Office for National Statistics RPI figure for “motoring expenditure: maintenance of motor vehicles” (DOCT) published on 15 December 2015.
6. The change in fuel costs relates to the change from the average of the AA diesel price for the 3 months to December 2014 to the 3 months to November 2015. This figure will be revised as further monthly data becomes available.
7. As agreed in 2011, costs for insurance will be uplifted by the yearly change in the Office for National Statistics RPI figure for “motoring expenditure: vehicle tax and insurance” (DOCV) published on 15 December 2015.
8. Provisional Knowledge, Social Costs and Average National Earnings changes are based on the year on year ONS average weekly earnings growth for the three months to October 2015.
TfL Pricing & Forecasting
23 December 2015
Details of taxi cost calculations
This table shows the cost per mile of each cost component in 2014 and 2015.
Component of index
Cost p per mile in 2014
Proportion of costs in 2015
Cost p per mile in 2015
Increase in costs 2015
Contribution to total increase
Garage & Servicing - Premises
Garage & Servicing - Labour
Total operating costs
Average national earnings
Note that increases are rounded to one decimal place in the table, but greater precision has been used in the calculations.
Four strategies have been considered for purchasing a cab:
1. Purchase new and run to scrap,
2. Purchase new and sell at 4 years,
3. Purchase at 4 years and sell at 8,
4. Purchase at 8 years and run to scrap.
Table 2 below gives the costs for the 4 strategies (as supplied by LTC in 2015). They relate to TX4 models for all strategies.
Table 3 shows the corresponding costs provided for 2014.
In October 2015 Vito taxis made up 11.6% of the fleet. Purchase costs for these taxis and the TX models have been weighted using this figure to provide an overall average purchase cost.
The average cost over 12 years in 2014 was £62,652 or 23.73 pence per mile. The average cost for the same strategies in 2015 was £68,257 or 25.85 pence per mile, giving an increase of 8.7 per cent.
Pence per mile rates have been calculated assuming an annual vehicle mileage of 22,000 miles.
Parts, Tyres, Garaging & Servicing
In 2011 a study was conducted comparing the changes in costs associated with parts, tyres, garaging and servicing incorporated into the cost index over recent years with the yearly changes in the Office for National Statistics RPI figure for “motoring expenditure: maintenance of motor vehicles” (DOCT). The study concluded that the two series were comparable and it was agreed to use this ONS RPI figure to represent these cost index items in future.
In November 2015 the DOCT RPI series showed an annual increase of 1.8 per cent. This gives an increase in the cost per mile of these components from 17.43p in 2014 to 17.75p in 2015.
The Derv price index from Arval, which has been used to calculate the change in fuel price, was discontinued in 2013. In deciding on an alternative source of fuel price data analysis of London diesel prices from the AA (available at www.theaa.com/motoring-advice/motoring-costs.html) shows close correlation with the Arval Derv price index. Based on AA data last used to calculate the index, the average fuel price over the three months to December 2014, was compared with the AA average price over the latest three months to November 2015. This gives a value of 110.6p per litre compared to 126.9p, giving a decrease of 12.8 per cent.
A similar comparison to that made for parts, tyres and garaging costs was made of previous years’ cost index insurance figures versus the ONS RPI series figure for “motoring expenditure: vehicle tax and insurance” (DOCV), and again it was decided to use the RPI figure in future cost index revisions.
In November 2015 the DOCV RPI series showed an increase of 4.7 per cent compared to the benchmark October price level used to calculate the last index. This gives an increase in the cost per mile of these components from 10.53p in 2014 to 11.72p in 2015.
This comprises the cost of hiring a meter, smoke test, vehicle licence and driver licence. The average cost in 2014 was £481 or 2.35 pence per mile. The average cost for the same strategies in 2015 was £485 or 2.37 pence per mile, giving an increase of 0.9 per cent.
The latest average weekly earnings data (headline rate ONS series KAC3) show a 2.4% increase for the three months to November 2015, compared to the three months to November 2014 used for the 2015 index. This gives a cost per mile figure for the updated index of 142.5p, representing 59.7 per cent of the total index cost.
The “knowledge” and “social” costs have also been uplifted each year in line with national earnings. In 2015 these increased to 12.95p and 6.64p respectively, together representing a further 8.1 per cent of the total index cost.
TfL Pricing & Forecasting
23 December 2015
Tariff Changes – 1.6 per cent average increase
Tariff Changes – 1.6 per cent average increase
Tariff Rates – 1.6 per cent average increase
metres/unit < 6 miles
secs/unit < 6 miles
metres/unit > 6 miles
secs/unit > 6 miles
Units at lower rate
Metres at lower rate
Example Fares – 1.6 per cent average increase
All example fares assume entire journey charged on distance rates
· Tariff 1: Monday to Friday between 06:00 and 20:00
· Tariff 3: Every night between 22:00 and 06:00, Public holidays