Friday, July 22, 2016

Uber BANNED from setting up the cheap taxi app in Oxford after licensed drivers and private hire firms rallied together to block the application

Taxi drivers are celebrating a victory over Uber after the firm was barred from launching in Oxford.

Uber applied to operate in the city after 50,000 people tried to access the service there in a year, despite it not being available.

But licensed drivers and private hire firms rallied together to try and block the firm, which allows users to request a car through its mobile phone app.

Two of the city's biggest private hire firms, 001 Taxis and Royal Cars, merged and launched their own app earlier this year to combat the potential threat.

Uber applied to operate in Oxford after 50,000 people tried to access the service there in a year, despite it not being available (stock image)

Uber applied to operate in Oxford after 50,000 people tried to access the service there in a year, despite it not being available (stock image)

They also raised concerns about the safety of Uber, questioning whether its drivers would abide by Oxford City Council's regulations.

A year after announcing its intention to move to the city, Uber's bid has been rejected as the company 'didn't get around to' submitting vital details in time.

Local cabbies are delighted at the decision.

Niaz Mohammed, managing director of Royal Cars, said: 'It's great news for us and our customers.

'We were very concerned about the safety of Uber and whether its drivers would abide by Oxford City Council's regulations.

'Their goal is to close down all the other companies and they would have disrupted the system that has been in place for many years.'

City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association secretary Sajad Khan added: 'I'm very pleased and I'm sure all the city's drivers are.

'It would have been devastating for our trade and they would have wrecked the current system.

'They charge awkward fares and there is also the question of safety. Our drivers go through very stringent checks but you hear some worrying stories about Uber drivers.'

A spokesman for Uber said it would not rule out reapplying in the future.

This comes as plans to ban Oxford's black cabs from a new road to the city's shopping centre were put on hold.

Two of Oxford's biggest private hire firms, 001 Taxis and Royal Cars, merged and launched their own app earlier this year to combat the potential threat (stock image)

Two of Oxford's biggest private hire firms, 001 Taxis and Royal Cars, merged and launched their own app earlier this year to combat the potential threat 

Source : Daily Mail 

Uber In The Dock Using Doublespeak Over Job Creation Claims



Lawyers representing Uber workers have accused the company of “doublespeak” and speaking with “forked tongues” over claims of job creation and its relationship with drivers.

The minicab app company is fighting legal action from drivers who argue they are employees of the organisation rather than independent operators running their own businesses.

Uber says it is a technology company rather than a transport provider, working with “driver partners” who have a “commonality of interest” and offering them flexibility to control how much and often they work.

But Thomas Linden QC, representing James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam in two test cases, suggested to the central London employment tribunal that Uber was hiding behind language to claim that its drivers are not employees of the business.

He cited a response from Uber to Transport for London in October 2014 in which the company claimed it could “generate tens of thousands of jobs in the UK” by working with jobcentres and agencies to help people become Uber drivers.


Linden told Jo Bertram, Uber’s UK general manager, that the statement was “blowing Uber’s trumpet as a creator of jobs”.

Bertram suggested the word “jobs” had been misused, telling the tribunal: “I am saying the correct word to use here is an ‘economic opportunity to earn money’.”

But Linden accused the company of boasting about the idea of job creation when it suited it but dismissing the idea that drivers were employees when it did not. He said: “My suggestion to you is that Uber speaks with forked tongues.”

Bertram replied: “We emphasise that it is ‘economic opportunities’. I agree that use of the word ‘jobs’ in this context may be misleading but we are very proud of the economic opportunities that we offer.”

Linden also accused Uber of doublespeak when he said on the one hand it described itself as a technology company, like Apple, but on the other told passengers it was offering them “Uber transport” with “Uber drivers”.

He suggested a process the company calls “onboarding” was actually another word for recruitment, saying to Bertram: “You want to avoid any idea that drivers may have an employment relationship with Uber.”

Bertram replied: “Because they don’t.”

The tribunal also heard that of the 30,000 registered Uber drivers in London, 99.9% operate individually, and just 68 run small businesses with other drivers operating under them as other Uber drivers.

In her witness statement, Bertram cited a poll of 551 Uber drivers that showed the majority in the capital did not use the Uber app platform on a full-time basis, that 72% use it for less than 40 hours a week, and more than 50% use Uber to supplement their main income.

But Linden said Uber had commissioned the work to support its case in the tribunal, and it was nothing to do with employment rates.

He suggested that important statistics – 61% of drivers do not have another job, and 80% of drivers say their Uber work is a significant source of income and rely on it for their livelihoods – were buried.

Bertram dismissed his claim that Uber had asked for the poll to support its case as “a bit of a stretch”, saying: “It showcases the opportunities available to drivers.”

In her statement, Bertram said drivers were their own boss and were under no obligation to log on to the Uber app. She said: “They can do so whenever they choose, at whatever time they choose. There is also no requirement on them to only use the Uber platform.

“They can contract with, work for or be employed by any company or also have other business interests on a self-employed basis.”

The tribunal, which continues on Friday, is the first time Uber has faced legal action in the UK over whether its drivers are workers or self-employed.

The test cases will determine another 17 claims that have been brought against Uber and could have wider implications for thousands more drivers across the country.

Source: The Guardian 


Private Hire Feeder Park At Heathrow....Huge Flop.

Councillor Robert Evans expectations left deflated 


Robert Evans, Stanwell and Stanwell Moor’s County Councillor welcomed the opening of a new designated car park for minicabs at Heathrow Airport a couple of weeks ago.

For months, even years, the two villages represented by Labour’s Robert Evans have had an increasing problem of minicabs and Uber drivers, parking at the road side awaiting their passengers.

Private hire drivers, now have a dedicated, on-airport parking facility on the airport’s Northern Perimeter Road.

‘I think this is great news,’ said Robert Evans, ‘as it’s something I started  campaigning for, as soon as I was elected to Surrey County Council in 2013. ‘I’m really pleased Heathrow Airport responded to the issue and listened to local people. However, I’m not complacent,’ added Cllr Evans. ‘I’m going to wait and see if this works but I am cautiously optimistic.’

Unfortunately private hire drivers seem unwilling to use the new facilities

Taxi Leaks can reveal that the new Private Hire feeder park at Heathrow has not worked. In fact it has been an expensive flop, minicab and especially Uber drivers, have decided to give the place a wide birth, preferring to park up in residential streets, local park cafes, McDonalds and garages. 

The new toilet facilities have not proved to be enough of an attraction as you can still find bottles of urine and plastic bags full of human faeces in residential streets and gardens.



Below is a letter from local resident Clive, with reply from editor, published in the Heathrow Villager local news paper


Sir,
Having just read about the so called success of taking mini cabs off the road. This is not true. We live in Sipson lane, within 800 yds there are 70 to 80 mini cabs parked up to 10 hours a day.

Not only that they park outside our houses, urinating into bottles, pooing into paper bags, sleeping in the back of their cars. This does not sound a success to me. 
What do you think sir?

Clive

Clive you are Correct I recently drove down Sipson Lane and on the side where the Cafe is. There must have been at least 60 vehicles on the road and the car park was ram jammed full, hopefully the council will send a traffic warden down there to move them all on.

Ed. 



Thursday, July 21, 2016

REPLY FROM THE MAYOR OF LONDON : DON'T PISS UP MY BACK AND TELL ME IT'S RAINING.

Mayor Sadiq Khan's Reply To Dads Defending Daughter's Lenny Etheridge.



  Lenny Etheridge's Reply To Sadiq Khan.

Dear Mayor Khan,
I would like to thank you for your reply to my email, dated 19 Jul 2016, but I cannot.
I felt your letter, an insult to my intelligence, was a fob.
You did not answer any of my questions or engage with any of my suggestions.
Did you actually read my email?
 
In your reply you suggest I may be aware of the introduction of more stringent regulations.
Are any of these regulations new?
Or is TfL finally enforcing those already in place, but never previously policed?
Correct Hire & Reward insurance has always been a requirement. TfL decided not to enforce it.
In fact, Leon Daniels lied to the GLA, that Uber had 'on/off' insurance. They did not.
Leon Daniels also lied to the GLA, stating he was in possession of Uber's landline. The landline he offered Ms Shawcross was Jo Bertram's personal number.
 
So these "more stringent regulations" are nothing more than TfL finally doing their job.
Do Uber now comply with all the specifications laid out by TfL, regarding landline and offices?
And taking into account that Uber have sworn on oath, that they do not receive or handle customer bookings in any way, worldwide; do they still comply to your 'stringent regulations'?
 
In my email, I proffered three points toward preventing rape and sexual assault in TfL Licensed Minicabs.
1. Scrapping onscreen locations.
2. Banning blacked out windows.
3. A minimum of five years residency.
You acknowledged none of them.
 
Your reply was like an automated TfL response on Twitter; stating all Private Hire applicants go through an enhanced DBS. "Have a nice day." "You're welcome."
The Licensed London Taxi trade has had enough political sidestepping and untrue truths from your predecessor.
Refugees and asylum seekers are afforded certain exemptions, if the DBS cannot check the applicants' background.
This is unacceptable. Do you expect someone's daughter to get into a car with a stranger?
Are our daughters not as important as yours?
You, along with most MPs and the media, refuse to acknowledge the glaring problem this trade is facing from unchecked predators.
I watched you answer the 'Uber rape' question. You were quick to qualify yourself by saying one rape is one too many. But went on to say that Uber is (only) 32 of 154.
Surely you understand that the rise in sexual assaults since 2012 is because TfL relaxed their regulations to the point of deregulation, to appease Uber.
That deregulation went across the Private Hire board.
No it is not just Uber drivers who have raped and sexually assaulted women during a twelve month period, but because of their influence over TfL, deregulation has been allowed to happen.
 
Now we all know that serious crime, such as murder, rape and sexual assault can happen to any profession.
Doctors, teachers, politicians, policemen, TV presenters, even Taxi drivers bring shame to their trade - but not on the scale of Uber.
And Uber's safety record is hardly enviable, is it?
It seems a Prius is crashing somewhere in London, daily.
I personally cannot remember one single day where I did not witness an imbecile with a roundel doing something dangerous.
 
Dads Defending Daughters is concerned about safety.
One of our members knows only too well the horror of being the father of a rape victim.
Rape can destroy lives and families.
You know that it is widely recognised that only ten percent of victims come forward.
 
TfL or police need to legally enter Uber's premises and view all previous complaints against Uber drivers, and make sure that all have been forwarded on to the correct authorities.
A young woman recently tweeted a complaint to Uber, against a driver for masturbating whilst driving. Did that, and similar complaints ever get reported to the police?
 
You promote yourself as a family man, who loves his wife and daughters. I do not doubt your sincerity for a second; it's the most natural thing in the world.
What about my daughters? What about everyone else's daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, aunts?
What about our sons? Rape is not gender specific.
If you consciously keep Londoners in the dark, then you are culpable; much the same way as the BBC are with Jimmy Savile.
An informed population may make informed decisions.
 
We are not going away. In fact the less you do to check this rise in rape and sexual assault, the bigger and stronger we become.
 
If you are going to reply to this email, please do so having read it.
 
Kind regards,
Leonard H. Etheridge
Dads Defending Daughters.

New York Taxis fight back and get into the Airport ride-share game with new app from CMT.


The taxi industry now has an answer to UberPool and LyftLine: an app that matches up riders for trips at reduced fares in yellow cabs from LaGuardia and JFK airports.

By the end of the year the service will be available anywhere in the city, via the Bandwagon app or a tab on Arro and Curb apps, which work with all cabs in the city. Destination match-ups will more easily be made during periods of high demand.

The airport service—a joint venture between Brooklyn-based startup Bandwagon and taxi owner-backed CMT Group, which operates Arro—was announced Wednesday. CMT manages the payment systems and backseat TVs in about 8,000 cabs, 6,700 of which are yellow cabs, or half the city's fleet. Bandwagon's integration with rival payment-service provider Verifone—operator of Curb—is in the works.

The airport service, which has been developed in cooperation with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, requires riders to go through several steps, including inputting the cab's medallion number. But the users are offered two enticements in return: They get a cheaper ride than passengers going solo and they can skip ahead to the taxi stand's priority line.

Bandwagon calculates the fares. Each rider pays in proportion to the distance needed to arrive at their destination. Although there is a flat $5 fee, the company says fares are typically 25% to 30% less than for a regular ride.

"This is about helping New York City taxis compete with UberPool and Lyft Line and reducing congestion on city streets," said Bandwagon founder and CEO David Mahfouda.

So far, the service is available only at selected terminals at the two airports and during peak use periods: Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday evenings, from 5 o'clock until midnight.

Customers lined up at the taxi stand text their destination to a Bandwagon number. If a match comes up, they move to the priority line, and a Bandwagon agent swipes their credit cards.

The company, which is based in NYU's Urban Future Lab, has been piloting the service since September. Even without a taxi payment integration it has facilitated 10,000 rides, according to Mahfouda.

The service is attractive to drivers, since they'll make more money on the extended trips.

"This is something we have to do," said Michael Epley, product manager for Arro. "I'm sure a chunk of people will say it's not for them. And others will be totally comfortable splitting a ride with a stranger."


Police hunt cyclist after chain and lock attacks on taxis in Cambridge.

Images have been released by police after a Cambridge cyclist allegedly targeted city taxis in a series of violent attacks.

A bike chain and lock have been used to batter vehicles as part of a vendetta, say cabbies - and now Cambridge police have released photographs of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the alleged incidents.

A cyclist has been reportedly spotted several times over the years, apparently targeting taxis in similar attacks.

Karl Stamper, a member of Cambridge Hackney Carriage Association, is the latest driver to allegedly suffer damage to his vehicle, during an incident which he says terrified an elderly passenger he was carrying.

Mr Stamper was driving along Hobson Street in the city centre at around 1.50pm on Monday, July 11 when he says a cyclist hit his taxi with a chain and lock as he rode past.

He said: "I had passengers in the taxi and one was senior and we both jumped. He obviously knows what he is doing.

"It seemed he had gone out to deliberately do this. It was totally unprovoked and we know he has done it before. He must be stopped."

Another taxi driver added: "We've got one nasty cyclist going round hitting taxis with his padlock."

A Cambridge taxi drivers Facebook forum has been alive with reports about the alleged cycling attacker.

One driver said a man had punched his wing mirror when he cycled past on Bridge Street. "The glass fell out and I stupidly tried to chase him on foot. He gave me a 'two fingers' sign for good measure as well."

Another alleged victim said he was targeted on Newmarket Road a few years ago. "He actually hit my car with a D-lock. Nasty man, pure mouth on him until you challenge him."

"Starting to wonder if it's the same one who punched my mirror on The Broadway," said another cabbie.

Images of a man police want to speak to in connection with the attacks have been released to the News.

Anyone with information is urged to call Cambridgeshire police on 101.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

TfL Notice 12/16 New Island Ranks Trial


In accordance with the taxi ranks action plan, in August 2015 we published our policy on all ranks and extension areas. This policy set out what points will be taken into consideration when designating a new island rank or extension area. An island rank is a rank located within an all London license area which certain supporting drivers will be permitted to use.

 In accordance with this policy, from today, 20 July 2016, we are starting a trial of two new island ranks at:

 • Junction Road (Archway station), Islington.
    – Rank number 5786
    – Times of operation: 19:00-02:00
    – Drivers license for Haringey, as well as all London drivers, can use this rank.

Clapham High Street, Lambeth.
   – Rank number 5787
   – Times of operation: 19:00 to 07:00
   – Drivers license for the Clapham extension area, as well as all London drivers, can use is rank. 

These new trial island ranks will be in place for a minimum six months period and will be monitored to assist passengers and drivers usage to determine whether they should be designated as island ranks on a permanent basis. 

Will Green Taxi Be Final Nail In Coffin Of London Taxi Trade...by Jim Thomas.

Under Mayor Boris Johnson, TfL spent the best part of a billion pounds, putting in ridiculous congestion causing traffic schemes. They are now looking for a slap on the back for putting a bandaid plaster over the gaping wound they've inflicted on the population of the capital.


After an increase in fatalities from cyclist who thought it a great idea to undertake lorries turning right, Boris and his whipping boy introduced half a billion pounds worth of segregated cycle lanes. This was hoped to prevent a couple of dozen cyclist deaths. As a result there has been a massive increase to pollution caused by the extra congestion. Preventable premature deaths in London have gone up by over 2,000 from 8,000 to 10,000 per annum.

London's worst pollution hotspots will get an £11 million funding boost to help bring in tough measures to improve toxic air quality, it was revealed today. 

Five “low emissions neighbourhoods” will be set up across eight of the capital’s most polluted boroughs by 2019.

The fund, run by Mayor Sadiq Khan, will support proposals including strict penalties for the most polluting vehicles, car-free days, green taxi ranks for zero-emission-capable cabs and reserved parking for clean vehicles. 


At 60k a pop and with associate health risks to the driver,  who does Mayor Khan think is going to buy the "Green Taxis", especially with more and more "Car and Taxi Free Days looming.

As for "Green Taxi ranks", this cannot be allowed as it is a restriction of trade. Someone who has just bought a TX4 euro 6 has a working life of 15 year. As a licensed Taxi driver, he must be given access to each and every Taxi rank, otherwise he is being discriminated against. 
Our representatives must take this up with the Mayor ASAP.

In one breath, Mr Khan said: “Air pollution is permanently affecting children’s lung development and nearly 10,000 Londoners are dying early every year due to the long-term exposure of London’s dirty air. 
In another breath the Mayor announced that Oxford Street is to be pedestrianised!!!! 
Where does Mayor Khan think this traffic is going to go? 

Taxi Leaks recently asked Dame Tanni Grey Thompson to support access to Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road for all wheelchair access vehicles. She refused saying she has no trouble shopping around Westfield in her wheelchair. 


So in future, can we expect to see only ex-Para-Olympic athletes shopping in W1 and Fitzrovia?   

The outcome of these proposals will see complete chaos and gridlock, causing more congestion, more emissions and with more pollution and most certainly more premature fatalities. 

“We need urgent, bold action and this includes targeted local initiatives.” Said the Mayor....Try banning all private vehicles from within the congestion zone....ah but that would put a stop to the money raised from congestion charging!
Better still sack the idiots who come up with these stupid, ill thought out schemes.

Another Consultation For TfL To Disregard?
It follows the launch of public consultation on air quality this month with proposals including a £10 “T-charge” for the most polluting vehicles in central London and the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone by 2020.

The five hotspots include Marylebone in Westminster, where plans include an electric vehicle delivery scheme and improving emissions from buildings

A “City fringe” scheme, covering parts of Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets, will feature tree planting, a focus on walking and cycling with improved pavements and cycle routes and parking places for clean vehicles. 

The Barbican proposal in the City of London includes no-idling zones, green taxi ranks and restricted access to certain streets for all but the cleanest vehicles. 

No-idling Zones
This will mean every time you pull up at lights, you will be expected to turn off your ignition.

Two problems here:
 1. When lights turn green you now have to wait for the car in front to start up and move off, then you start your engine...result, traffic build up less vehicles get through on green. Causing even more congestion. Engine shake up from starting up, more emissions of airborne micro carbon particles (PM10, PMx), these are dangerous particles, even more so than NO2/CO2 emission. 
 2. In my Taxi, when I turn off the engine, the driver's compartment locks deactivate, leaving me at risk to the likes of the thriving scumbags operating in the Marylebone, Islington and Holloway areas. 


Not one trade org has bought this problem up with manufactures. No one from TfL or the Mayors office has investigated this proposed breach in our security. 

Some one tell me again "Just what is it our trade representatives actually do these days?"

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

CAR CLOCKING IN PRIVATE HIRE, MINICAB AND CHAUFFEURING TRADE COSTING MILLIONS AND PLACING PASSENGERS AT RISK WARN EXPERTS

New research and investigations from automotive experts HPI and consumer group LicensedTransportUncovered.com (LTU) has revealed that private hire, minicab and chauffeur customers are at risk due to an epidemic of clocking, with hundreds of millions of miles being removed from odometers across the UK every year.
HPI and LTU have teamed up to warn of the dangers that clocked private hire, minicab and chauffeur-driven vehicles pose to the public who may be unwittingly putting themselves at serious risk every time they use one. The illegal practice of clocking revealed by an LTU investigation, takes place when drivers look to cut corners by saving on maintenance costs and deliberately defraud second-hand car buyers, when the vehicle is sold on.

HPI, the UK’s leading authority on vehicle checking services, estimates that used car buyers have a one in 20 chance of purchasing a vehicle with a mileage discrepancy, with the practice costing motorists £800 million every year*.

An investigation by (LTU) found hundreds of private hire, minicab and chauffeur-driven vehicles in the north west of England operating with clocked mileage. Post private hire usage, some vehicles went to dealers and were offered for sale at inflated prices.

The investigation found that one driver removed 114,000 miles from his Toyota. A Mercedes-Benz with 180,000 miles off the clock was on sale for £20,250 when it was really only worth £11,150 with its true mileage reading. In the worst case found as part of the investigation, a staggering 460,000 miles had been removed from the odometer of one private hire vehicle.

Chris Hargreaves, of LTU, said: “Clocking within the private hire, minicab and chauffeur industry has reached epidemic proportions and something needs to be done to prevent this unscrupulous practice before a real tragedy happens.

“The 330 clocked cars we found had about 80 million miles removed but that was just in the north west of England. UK-wide it’s safe to say that hundreds of millions of miles must have been wiped out thanks to clocking.”

“It’s truly shocking to discover that reputable leasing companies are giving out lease agreements to the industry based on as little as 10,000 miles per year – 27.3 miles per day! Surely neither the vehicle manufacturers nor the leasing companies have to be in the industry to see the warning signs. In most local authority districts a licensed vehicle has to be doing at least 1,000 miles a week to make any money. So why is any lease deal being done for less than, say, 50,000 miles per year? If any thought was given to these transactions, the ridiculously low mileage lease deals would never be signed up in the first place.”

HPI and LTU believe that as pounds and pence increasingly take precedence over public safety a major clampdown is urgently required.

Barry Shorto, head of industry relations at Cap HPI, said: “Our valuation data conclusively shows the potential cost to dealers and motorists of the clocking problem. With clockers able to add thousands of pounds onto the value of a car, unsuspecting buyers stand to lose out, as do dealers. That’s why we advise retailers and consumers alike to conduct a vehicle history check to spot a mileage discrepancy before they buy.

“It can be almost impossible to tell a clocked vehicle just by looking at it, which makes a vehicle history check an even more vital form of protection for buyers. A clocked vehicle could be hiding serious levels of wear and tear, especially if it has been previously used as a high mileage private hire vehicle for a couple of years, meaning the additional cost of unexpected repairs or even a potentially serious safety threat to driver, passengers and other road users. An HPI Check can help protect consumers from buying a vehicle with something to hide, saving them cash and keeping them safe.”

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 200 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it or has been written off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit.

Register (NMR) checks and investigations have grown by over a third in the last five years.

Added Barry Shorto: “Not only should dealers make conducting mileage investigations an integral part of their business process, to protect their reputation and their customers, they need actively to promote the fact to their customers that these checks have been done. Our data confirms that consumers are seeking peace of mind against clocking, yet some dealers are choosing to overlook this. Proof of a mileage check should be a key part of a dealer’s sales strategy, promoting the quality of their stock, as well as highlighting the dangers of clocking for their customers.”

As part of its investigations, HPI found:
·         Whilst almost one in three (29%) of used car buyers are believed by dealers still to be unaware of the risks of clocking, more than one in five customers now ask dealers, directly, for proof that they have validated a vehicle’s mileage.
·         However, despite growing consumer awareness of the dangers of clocking, only ten per cent of dealers surveyed said they actively declare that they have conducted a mileage check on a vehicle, vitally weakening their sales proposition.
·         Over 52 per cent of dealers said that consumers who enter their showrooms do know about clocking, but the level of concern varies significantly.
·         92 per cent of dealers consider clocking a ‘terrible’ blight on the industry and a major risk to its reputation.

 Who are HPI and Cap

HPI and cap are two of the most recognised brands in the motor industry. cap is recognised as a leading provider of data and insight to the automotive industry. Its award-winning used car pricing and technical information has been trusted for more than 30 years. 

Established in 1938, HPI is a primary source of vehicle information for the UK motor industry and motoring consumer. HPI encompasses both the HPI database of all UK road registered vehicle descriptions and histories, and the National Mileage Register (NMR) which holds in excess of 200 million mileage readings.

*Office for Fair Trading (OFT) figures for 2015 



cab:app contactless chip & pin – rental option now available

Credit Card Package – further to the changes by TfL on the mandatory credit card mandate which come into effect in October, cab:app has a fully approved solution which includes a contactless chip & pin device, a fixed bracket for the passenger compartment and a printer. This is now available to buy as a bundle or individually as follows (prices below exclude VAT and postage): 

  • M10 contactless chip & pin device - £79
  • Fixed bracket for passenger compartment - £50
  • Micronics Star Printer SM L200 - £170
  • Bundle of chip & pin, bracket and printer - £295


As a reminder, the cab:app solution accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, contactless and Apple Pay. Processing fees for drivers are 2.7%, payment to your bank account is next day Monday to Friday. In addition, drivers also benefit from cashback, which is 10% of the net profit cab:app makes on each card transaction with the option to accept in cash or convert to shares in cab:app. We will also be updating the device software (remotely) in the next 2-3 weeks with a tip feature so passengers can add a tip at the end of the journey when paying by card.

The fixed bracket has already been approved for the TX vehicle and we’ve just had news that TfL have approved the same bracket for the Vito, so we will update you on this shortly together with the list of garages and their fitting costs.

Credit Card Rental Scheme – a number of drivers across the UK and Ireland have requested a rental option for the contactless chip & pin device rather than purchasing outright. We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with our suppliers to provide a free device as part of a rental service that will cost £2 a week (£8 a month) with no tie in or contract.

Please note that this is for the device only, so London drivers will still need to purchase the fixed bracket and printer to comply with the new TfL regulations.

As there is a new Mayor and head of TfL, we have taken the opportunity once again to challenge the need for a mandatory fixed bracket and printer as we believe this to be an unnecessary cost and should be at the driver’s discretion. We await a response so we have been recommending that drivers wait a little longer before purchasing the bracket and printer just in case!

You can purchase the cab:app contactless device directly from the app. If you are interested in purchasing the bracket, the printer or would prefer the rental service then please email us with your name and address at ‘support@cabapp.net

Thank you to everyone in advance for your support and patience, as the long term success of cab:app will ultimately be determined by drivers.


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Monday, July 18, 2016

Uber In A UK Court, Case To Be Heard On Wednesday 20th July.

Uber faces its first UK legal action to see if it should pay workers for holidays and pay the National Minimum Wage


The US-owned firm will appear in a case brought by law firm Leigh Day, supported by the GMB union, at the Central London Employment Tribunal on Wednesday.

It will be decided if Uber, whose European headquarters is Netherlands based, is acting unlawfully by not providing drivers with holiday pay or the National Minimum Wage.

A successful claim against Uber could have ramifications for all self-employed in other industries, said Leigh Day.

But why have we had to wait for the GMB to act, why haven't our representative orgs taken Uber to court?
The a LTDA splashed over pages of their paper, they had a fighting fund if a million pounds. Isn't it time they put this money to good use.


The evidence is out there:
In a Toronto court case, Uber have openly admitted (under oath) that worldwide, they do not receive or handle customer bookings in any way.

They said they simply put the customer in contact with the driver, and then it is the driver who accepts the booking IN CAR.

This actually means that Uber do not operate within the terms of their TfL operators licence. In fact it is the drivers who are acting as operators outside the conditions of their Private Hire drivers licence. Therefore every journey accepted by Uber's drivers past and present could and should be deemed to be undertaken illegally.

TfLTPH already know this but are too frightened to take action against this alleged multibillion dollar corporation which up to now has been protected by Government ministers such as chancellor Osborne who was leaning on the previous Mayor Boris Johnson to give Uber an easy ride. 

Circumstances have now changed and the LTDA with their much publicised one million pound fighting fund should be all over this. 
This is a winnable case. 
Why are our orgs always seem to be dragging their feet?

ARRO, Just What We've Been Waiting For? New Taxi Hailing App From CMT.

With the requirement for contactless credit card readers to be fitted in the rear of all taxis looming, and not wanting to leave it to the last moment, I decided to check out all the available options.

There are many pros and cons with all available systems, but taking into consideration my own personal circumstances and requirements, I found the system offered by Taxi World, fits my needs best. 


No initial layout expense, inclusive printer and best of all, no contract. I also prefer the fact that the system has its own GPS chip and works independent from my phone, unlike my present set up with iZettle. I found having to frequently disconnect my blue tooth hands free to get the machine to connect to my phone, annoying.

I had a very informative conversation with Linda who was taking payment for the meter I currently rent from Taxi world. She told me to book as soon as possible as bookings close to the deadline were filling fast. 

As luck would have it, I was able to book a fitting at my nearest White City branch. The fitting was quick and the fitter even went to the trouble of hiding the cable I had running to my dash-cam. Everything looks much neater now. 

While there, I was informed about an exciting new app being developed by Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT), a Long Island based tech company who make and market the CC equipment. 

CMT'S "ARRO" On The Horizon. 
Could this be the light at the end of the tunnel?


CMT have a Taxi hailing app called "ARRO" which is currently being used by over 10,000 delighted New York yellow cab drivers. This very professional app is now being adapted for the London market. This will not be just another run of the mill app no one hears about, CMT have the resources to take on a Uber big time, in the same way they've taken then on in New York. 

When a user taps the app, a nearby Taxi driver is sent the passenger's name and pickup address. The rider is sent the driver's name and ID number so he/she can identify the Taxi. Users store their credit card details in the app, allowing them to pay the metered fare, plus tip, automatically. (Sound familiar)

"Our solution is completely integrated with the taxi, whereas Uber's is not," said Mr. Epley, who worked as a logistics consultant for CMT before leaving to launch Arro.
The next feature that Arro says gives it a leg up on Uber: 
NO SURGE PRICING.

Allegedly, the app will run on the GPS tablet which comes free with the CC system, so won't use any of your phone data. 
The app will also be available to non Taxi World's system users, available as a download from both Apple and Android app stores.

But the success of this venture lies in your hands. The more Taxi drivers that sign up, the more successful it will become.

And so off to work, with my new CC contactless reader on board!
At first I found the plethora of window stickers, advertising the fact I now had this contactless machine quite daunting. The thought was running round in my head that I may never take a cash ride again.


But to my surprise, I managed to complete two whole night shifts without taking a single card payment. It was only half way through my third shift, I had my first take up. The tip option however, proved fruitless. 
Wasn't we told by TfL, this whole issue came about because according to their consultation, over 85% of my customers wanted to pay by Credit Cards!

Downside:
There is however a downside to these new machines, they definitely impair vision through the rear view mirror. With the head rests already blocking so much of the rear view, the machine appears in the mirror between two headrests blocking even more.


 I must say I'm surprised in these days of the nanny state, with strict health and safety requirements, that rear fitting these machines has actually been allowed. Front fitted and hand held units have been workable for many years, with no problems whatsoever. 

Most drivers believe the only reason TfL are insisting on units fitted in the rear, is solely just because they can.

There seems to be no clear safety or financial advantage to the passenger or driver. Unfortunately, this issue has seen a number of smaller independent suppliers, forced out of business by TfL's decision.

Again we see an uneven playing field, as there is no similar mandate or requirement for Private Hire to take CC payments or have a unit 'fitted' in their vehicles.

There is also no requirement for a minicab driver to have to pay the service charge on transactions, customers can still be billed by the driver on top of the fare. The London Taxi trade has become the first ever group of traders to have this requirement forced upon them.

Amazingly, our representative orgs have never questioned the fact that TfL went against their own consultation results when it came to rear fitting of units and transaction service charges. The only statement I managed to get from Steve McNamara general secretary of our largest org the LTDA, was "it's a done deal". 

Done deal...done by who?
Freudian slip? or using the wrong wording perhaps? 
Or is Steve referring to the deal appertaining to the revenue that's being generated by the constant stream of advertising in trade papers?

Still Woefully Inadequate : 
In my opinion, this whole issue is proof that TfLTPH haven't a clue about what's best, when it comes to the every day workings of our iconic industry. 

They certainly take no notice from their own consultation, which appears to be no more than a waste of resources. 
It's as if they sit in their office all day dreaming up schemes to squeeze the life out of our trade.

Still, it's no good moaning about these new requirements now. 

When the trade had the chance to do something, nowhere near enough drivers came forward. Most drivers seemed to believe £24 per head was too expensive to fight for their survival. Some org leaders didn't even bother turning up to meetings with LTPH, when arranged.