In recent years, we have seen many big-name vehicle manufacturers trying their hand at the private-hire market, coming up with all sorts of ideas on how they can get a slice of the ride-hailing and ride-sharing economy.
Whilst Uber are waiting to hear from the court about their licence renewal appeal, Mercedes believe they have found a gap in the London market.
Not a great surprise really, as they need an outlet for the vehicles designed to be London Taxis, now that the Taxi trade can no longer licence any new vehicle other than an electric vehicle.
Regulation Out The Window At TfL.
It seems the regulation that stops purpose built Taxis being used by Private Hire companies, is another regulation swept under the carpet under the watchful gaze of Mike Brown's TfLTPH.
Could this set a precedent with Geely's TXe, Nissans Dynamo and the new MetroCab Taxi being used by PH operators?
The German car-makers have this week announced that they are introducing an on-demand ridesharing Vito's boasting a strong demand in London for ride-sharing solutions.
ViaVan is the name of this new service; a joint venture between Mercedes and American ridesharing service Via. Together, the businesses will allow commuters of Zones 1 and 2 to access vans with vacant seats in real-time, allowing them to jump in and share ride fairs with those heading in the same direction as them. Remember when you were a kid and dad telling you never get in a car with complete strangers... Well now there's an app for just that!
Having already tested the new app model in Amsterdam, they say they will be excelling in London, where Uber very much fell flat. This venture is centred on safety and reliability, with ViaVan offering the residents and visitors of the capital city an honest, easy way to travel. Doesn't mean diddley squat saying that though, as customers who use Uber don't give a fig about safety or reliability....they just want cheap!
In a statement to the press, Chris Snyder CEO of ViaVan said:
“Our mission is to power truly dynamic mass transit systems, which reduce congestion in our cities while offering drivers the opportunity to earn a decent living.
“We are delighted to launch in London and finally give Londoners an alternative to expensive and inefficient private car services.”
So another ride share app for the ever increasing number of PH vehicles ...and that's supposed to reduce congestion ... You couldn't make this PR rubbish up!
Same Old Workforce, Still A Danger To The Public
Unfortunately for unsuspecting Londoners and Visitors alike, they will be drawing on the same work force that Uber have exploited and let's not forget that 13,000 of this workforce have acquired their PH licence using fake Criminal Record Check DBS certificates plus many have fake medical.
Last year custom rape from this workforce rose by 50% to over one a week with sexual assaults rising to almost one a day.
London is to be flooded with new ride share apps in the wake of a Uber licence renewal knock back and TfL are still dishing out operator and driver licenses like sweeties to kids, (trying to make a dent in the forecast £1b deficit for the next financial year). Over. Recent years, we've seen a dramatic escalation in road traffic collisions where these untrained drivers take their eyes off the road and smash into other vehicles. People have died and the blood is on the hands of the directors at TfL who have shirked all responsibility once they've taken the cash.
Gone out the window are the days when public safety was paramount.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
London's Taxi drivers are now wondering if their representative orgs will be seeking a meeting with Mike Brown asking what happened to change the legislation to allow these vehicles to be licensed as Private Hire.
But seeing as they didn't seek an audience with Brown over the news that Uber BV are operating in London without an operators licence....I wouldn't hold your breath.