Friday, August 17, 2018
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Uber brought in $2.8 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2018, but ultimately lost $891 million thanks to increased spending by the ride-hailing company, according to Bloomberg.
Uber, which is privately held but chooses to report its quarterly earnings to investors and the public, is seeing some growing pains from its massive effort to scale globally. It’s cash-burn rate wasn’t as bad as the same period last year, when the company reported losing roughly $1.1 billion. But it’s a big drop from the previous quarter, when the company posted a rare profit thanks to its decision to sell its businesses in southeast Asia and Russia to local rivals.
Uber is planning for an initial public offering in the second half of 2019, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said. That could be complicated by Uber’s habit of burning large quantities of cash. The company lost $4.5 billion last year, and has burned through $11 billion since launching in 2009. But Uber still has $7.3 billion cash on hand, according to Bloomberg, which certainly gives it some running room before an IPO.
Bloomberg characterized the report as Khosrowshahi embracing the company’s “growth above profit” ethos. But it has cast a spotlight on some of Uber’s more expensive, trouble-prone projects. Specifically, the company’s beleaguered self-driving car operation is said to be losing as much as $200 million a quarter, The Information reported today. And Bloomberg noted that Uber is being urged by investors to off-load the unit.
Source : TheVerge.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : by Tom Scullion
Uber record loss of £702m for the latest quarter.
The good old 'Gig Economy'!
Isn't it supposed to revolutionise the world and show us the way to the future, with successful, dynamic, get up and go business strategy, leaving behind those Luddite riddled, antiquated businesses like London's black cabs, you know, businesses that have been around for hundreds of years?
The Gig Economy, led by their own version of 1st World War Generals, taking their armies over the top of the trenches, to certain destruction. But the Generals are ok. They're safely hidden well away from the front line, ensconced in penthouse offices with luxurious surroundings & mega salaries, bonuses, fine dining & hob-nobbing with bent politicians and bureaucrats the world over.
Once the masses realise the carnage inflicted upon them, their families & their society, then maybe we'll see those 'Generals' and their lickspittle politician friends hanging upside down from proverbial meathooks in market squares, across the country.
Because by then, even the most ardent GiG supporter will come to realise that all 'GiG' ever stood for was 'Greed is Good'.
Exclusive : Colts Taxis Getts Rid, In Favour Of A Non-Profit TaxiApp Provided By Licensed Taxi Drivers...by Sean Paul Day.
It’s easy to be critical, in fact, it’s easy to find fault in someone or something or even something some one is doing. Add to that a clash in personality and it’a wonder we manage to get any work done with the amount of criticism we have to wade through.
Now, if you want to take criticism to the next level you need to be someone who earns a living out of the trade. It doesn’t matter who or what you do, or if you are good, bad, or ugly, you are going to get criticised.
What the trade lacks is reciprocity, alliances or partners if you will. There was a time when the regulation that governs our industry prevailed, but now it seems, with everyone else partnering anyone they can find, the trade is becoming increasingly isolated in a world where a few alliances would do us a world of good
TAXIAPP UK - London’s only Trade app that’s owned and run by drivers themselves is always looking for different ways to advertise their product, and one such place is on the side of taxis. However, TAXIAPP/ unlike the Corporate led apps- isn’t afforded the luxury of any outside investment and because a lot of the fleet owners look to maximising profits from renting cabs, the cost of advertising on cabs has always been out of the price range for TAXIAPP to consider
Enter Michael Glassman from Colts Cabs. Responding to the strong feelings in the trade against ride hailing apps, particularly Gett, he has taken the stance to remove all of their liveries and replace them with TAXIAPP ones completely free of charge. In total Glassman has supplied a fleet of 80 cabs for TAXIAPP to advertise their brand.
A spokesperson from TAXIAPP said they were thrilled at what is effectively an unprecedented act of goodwill and hopes that the exposure will generate more business for the app, and also shine a torch on the commitment Colts Cabs have shown towards the trade
Of course it’s not entirely without cost as the app had to consider designing and producing the livery itself and of coarse there was the fitting to consider. "We did actually get a very good deal from Dvinylwraps," says Scott, who looks after the app’s finances "To do all 80 cabs in one go simply wasn’t feasible, but we had to find a way as it was far too good an offer to let go by the wayside"
What you’ll see is a dozen cabs (possibly more ) each month being filtered out on to the streets of the Capital emblazoned with the TAXIAPP logo.
As far as criticism goes? Well, very few people in this world do anything for zero pay off, but as far as this act of good will is concerned, Glassman didn’t have to do it, but he chose to, and should be commended for it. That’s criticism, partnerships and helping each other all in one. As the mantra goes, support those that support the trade.
I await criticism
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Quebec Is Giving $250 Million In Taxpayer Money To Taxi Drivers Who Have Lost Business Because Of Uber
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Amber* and her friends spent a hot and humid July 2017 evening in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at The Pickle Barrel, a pub in a flatiron building with southern bites and a crowded roof deck.
As she had many nights before, Amber called an Uber for her and a friend to make the more than eight-mile trip home at about 1:30 a.m. But unlike those other nights, on July 22, 2017, Amber says she was sexually assaulted by her driver before she made it to her own front door.
Though Amber immediately reported her assault to both Uber and the authorities, another woman says she was victimized by that same driver just 15 days later.
Now, the women want answers.
Both unidentified plaintiffs filed a 65-page lawsuit against Uber last month in Hamilton County, Tennessee. The complaint was first covered by The Chattanoogan, and it claims the company was negligent in its retention of the alleged perpetrator, 26-year-old John Kyle Lane, after the first incident. The women are seeking at least $25,000 in damages to be determined at trial.
Lane began his ride with Amber by "offering details of his personal life that [she] found to be inappropriate," according to the complaint. After dropping off Amber’s friend, Lane arrived at her home, pulled into the driveway, and positioned his vehicle "such that he was between [her] and her house," the lawsuit claims.
Then, he allegedly locked the doors. Lane asked Amber how she felt about uncircumcised penises and then forced his genitals into her hand while groping her breast, according to both the lawsuit and police documents obtained by The Tennessean.
When Amber threatened to scream and jerked her hand away, Lane allegedly unlocked the door and let her out. As he sped away, Amber ran into her house and called the Red Bank Police Department and notified Uber, according to the lawsuit.
"This driver should be fired. I find him to be a danger to his passengers," Amber allegedly wrote at the end of her complaint to the company.
An Uber representative purportedly sent her an email shortly afterward, noting that the company had launched an internal investigation and that someone would be in touch with her as soon as possible. A phone call later that day from another representative confirmed the investigation, the lawsuit claims.
Uber refunded Amber’s money for the ride and placed a restriction on her profile so that she would never be paired with Lane again, according to the complaint.
Afterward, she was traumatized, had nightmares, and had difficulty sleeping, according to the lawsuit.
"The trauma of this event became embedded in her mind to the point where it often infiltrated her every thought, impeded her ability to carry out her daily activities and infected her relationship with her husband and young daughter," the complaint claims. She "suffered severe emotional distress and was forced to enter counseling and seek psychiatric treatment," the court papers say.
Meanwhile, Lane was still driving customers. On Aug. 6, 2017, he picked up Julia*.
She was trying to get home from downtown Chattanooga and, again, Lane struck up an "inappropriate" conversation and eventually asked if he could "come inside and ‘have a threesome’" with Julia and her boyfriend, court documents allege.
When she moved to get out of the car, Lane yelled and allegedly exposed his erect penis.
"You’re not going anywhere until you do something about this," he said, according to the complaint. She frantically left the vehicle and ran to the back of her house.
That evening, Julia reported the incident to the East Ridge Police Department and to Uber, which allegedly took six days to respond to her report, the complaint claims. The ride-hail giant said it would restrict Lane’s driver access and investigate the situation. A few days later, Julia allegedly received another message from the company, claiming that Lane’s account was put on hold until an investigation could be completed. She was also told that she would not be paired with Lane again.
After receiving another Aug. 14, 2017 email from Uber, Julia wrote: "I very much appreciate that I will not be paired with this Uber driver, but my concern is that another girl will end up with this individual and something worse will happen to her…. I have been a member of this community long before Uber came to our city and I feel a certain responsibility to the other women I live alongside."
Lane has been charged in Hamilton County with stalking, harassment, sexual battery and indecent exposure, according to The Tennessean. He is scheduled for a court hearing on Aug. 14 and 15, the newspaper reports.
Lane began driving for Uber in spring 2017, according to the lawsuit, which claims the company "failed to exercise reasonable care in retaining Lane and continuing to allow him to drive its customers."
In a statement sent to The Daily Beast on Monday night, an Uber spokeswoman said: "What’s been described is appalling and this driver remains permanently removed from the app."
Another suit against Uber, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, first alleged in November 2017 that the ride-hail giant operates a system that enables perpetrators to have access to thousands of victims all over the country.
One driver is even accused of masturbating in the presence of a customer, explaining: "I thought this is what you wanted." The nine plaintiffs have each claimed that they were sexually assaulted, harassed, or kidnapped by their Uber driver.
"Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired," that lawsuit, amended in March, says. "Uber has created a system for bad actors to gain access to vulnerable victims."
Attorney Jeanne Christensen, who represents those plaintiffs, told The Daily Beast in March that "Uber’s goal is to stop women from getting the justice they deserve through our court system."
An April investigation by CNN found 103 reports of sexual assault by Uber drivers within the past four years.
An Uber spokesperson told CNN then that safety is the company’s top priority this year, pointing out numerous recent protocol updates, including more background checks, in addition to a "safety center" on the app. Another Uber spokesperson said in March that the company takes all sexual-misconduct allegations against its drivers "very seriously."
*Pseudonyms were given to the unidentified victims in these lawsuits.
Earlier this year, the flaws in the MyTaxi app passed before my inspection:
it was possible for someone with multiple convictions to get on to their system, to the point of receiving a statement of earnings.
But, it seems, MyTaxi is not for listening to those pointing out problems with this app. And one cabby found recently that his insistence on observing regulations meant being sacked from the platform altogether.
Chris Johnson pointed out that MyTaxi was offering app jobs to drivers outside the Greater London area - drivers could lose their licence if TfL concluded that the driver was plying for hire using the app. He asked if drivers were plying for hire on the app, or if an instant hire was a pre-booking (drivers can accept a pre-booking anywhere in England and Wales, but can only ply in their licensed area). He received no reply.
His TfL Taxi licence expired on the MyTaxi system, although he had renewed with TfL. But MyTaxi were sending him instant app jobs on an expired licence, so he complained that this was a public safety risk, as revoked drivers could still operate on MyTaxi on a potential expired TfL licence. No word from MyTaxi.
These are basic safety and regulation issues. And it gets worse.
MyTaxi tells the driver to charge a minimum fare of £10 at certain times of the day, but taxi drivers are not allowed to charge more than the metered fare - as it is an offence. Johnson explained to MyTaxi that MyTaxi could charge the customer more than the metered fare but that would mean that they are the principal in the contract, making him potentially a worker for them. Still no word from MyTaxi.
Read the full story on Zelo Street Blog...click this link:-
Source : Tim Fenton, Zelo Street
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
MyTaxi have excluded a driver after he pointed out that drivers could lose their licence for charging more than the metered fare, under their minimum fare policy. This has in the past been pointed out to TfLTPH but they have not commented on the practise, in the same respect that Graham Robinson, General Manager of TfLTPH refuses to comment on the practice of Gett dispatching private hire work on their Taxi app without a PH operators licence.
It seems if you are a Taxi driver, you have to abide by and comp,y with all Hackney carriage acts, but if you are company run by billion dollar third party investors, you can run roughshod over legislation laid down by parliament.
You onl have to look at the regulations that have been broken and still continue to be broken by Uber. Yet TfL continue to make excuses for them in the same way they have for the past six years.
Monday, August 13, 2018
Uber Rival Ola has hired the former Chief Operating Officer of Google Europe to run its UK operation
Uber's latest UK challenger, Ola is the market leader in India's ride-hailing market with a service including taxis, luxury cars and even rickshaws. It is set to launch in South Wales and Manchester later this year.
Both Legg's technical and business credentials will serve Ola well when it comes to competitive strategies in the evolved British transportation market.
Before embarking on a corporate career, Legg was a Captain in the British Army’s Royal Engineers for 10 years.
He joins from digital advertising company AdParlor.
Can’t wait for TfL to licence London’s electric rickshaws and then see them operate under the Uber or Ola banner.
The Lycra clad happy clappers will lap up the zero emission reichshaw bikes which are turning London into a virtual third world City
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Indian ride-hailing platform Ola has appointed Ben Legg to lead its British expansion as UK managing director, a position which will see him build a senior leadership team, oversee strategy and manage operations as the business seeks to establish a nationwide presence by the end of the year.
A former chief executive of New York-based global marketing technology firm AdParlor Legg can also draw upon a wealth of experience gleaned from his time as Group CEO of Adknowledge as well as a stint as chief operating officer for Google Europe.
Legg’s elevation comes after Ola was granted licenses to operate in Greater Manchester and South Wales, commencing operations in the latter region over the coming weeks.
Legg said: "I’m excited to be joining Ola as it launches in the UK and brings its compelling ride-hailing services to passengers at their fingertips. Ola is committed to working in partnership with policymakers and regulators in all local markets in the UK, to help ensure that our goals are aligned with theirs.
"As we have shown elsewhere, Ola is focused on ensuring that its services bring benefits to customers and drivers alike. I, for one, don’t own a car and strongly believe that through innovative services like Ola working in conjunction with local authorities we can help to reduce traffic congestion and pollution, improve mobility, and eventually redesign our cities, towns and public spaces for the better."
Rapid expansion in countries such as Australia has seen Ola grow to conduct over one billion rides annually
Source : The Drum, the Telegraph.
Uber investor Bradley Tusk Says Dara Khosrowshahi's kinder, gentler approach Is Makibg Uber Apoear Weak
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
• Regulation critic Bradley Tusk, who is also an Uber shareholder, has some strong opinions on New York's new regulations that cap the number of ride-share drivers.
• He believes that Uber's kinder, gentler approach these days could be interpreted as weakness by Uber's traditional rivals.
• But an Uber insider tells us that times have changed, and Uber's view on its former rivals has changed with them.
Political-campaigner-turned-regulation-critic Bradley Tusk -who is also an Uber shareholder - has some unsolicited advice for Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi: Uber's kinder, gentler image isn't a good thing when it comes to a "bare knuckle fight" with would-be regulators who want to limit Uber's business.
"Effectively, if you want a CEO who is chosen because he is calm and smooth and avoids conflict at all costs, that may work really well in certain parts of the business. But when it comes to a sort of bare knuckle fight with the city council, you really have no chance at all," Tusk tells Business Insider.
Tusk's comments are in response to new rules approved earlier this week in New York, when Mayor de Blasio achieved something he had been wanting to do for three years: limiting the number of ride-sharing cars operating in the city.
Tusk's viewpoint poses interesting questions for tech startups fighting incumbents in heavily regulated industries.
Is there still a time and place for Silicon Valley's famous resistance to government regulations? The most extreme example of that attitude is Uber's brash former CEO Travis Kalanick, who fought them with gusto. But companies like Airbnb, FanDuel, Bird, and the bevy of self-driving car companies are all having their own stand-offs with city and state regulators. And in the years before Kalanick's spectacular fall from grace, he was widely praised in the Valley for his tactics in taking on the old-school incumbents...and winning.
In fact, in 2015 de Blasio tried to do this same thing, and limit the number of ride share drivers. But Uber engaged in an all-out assault of protests that was so powerful, it became the blueprint for how tech upstarts could combat would-be regulators.
It also catapulted the take-no-prisoners political operative who orchestrated Uber's counter-regulation campaign, Tusk, into a sought-after star helping other tech upstarts fight regulators.
Bradley Tusk Getty
Tusk was paid in Uber stock to help Kalanick navigate New York's notoriously thick taxi regulations in those earlier days. Those shares of Uber, paid in lieu of Tusk Strategies' usual fees, were believed to be worth $100 million in 2017.
Tusk cashed out some of his Uber shares earlier this year, when SoftBank invested in the company and bought up equity from existing shareholders. However, he still owns a significant chunk of shares in Uber, he said.
But he says he's never met Khosrowshahi, much less advised him.
Still, he has some advice for Uber's current CEO.
"What I would say to him: there's a lot of areas where a kinder, gentler approach makes sense. But taxi is a cartel. Uber only exists because Travis and team were tough enough to take them on and fight them tooth and nail in every city in the United States," Tusk said.
"And if you don't do that, they are going to re-emerge," he warned. "They didn't become nicer people or kinder people. Or, just because you have a better reputation than Travis, they are all of a sudden going to treat you differently. More likely they are going to see you as weak and they are going to come after you."
Do nice guys finish last?
And yet, just because tough tactics worked in the past doesn't mean they are necessary for the future, argues a person familiar with Uber's New York operations, who requested anonymity to discuss the company's internal deliberations on this latest city council ruling.
"A lot has changed since 2015 in terms of driver and rider sentiment and how they feel about Uber has declined significantly. If this was a political campaign, Uber doesn't have a base anymore," this person said, adding that Uber has suffered a 30%-plus drop in reputation, even among riders.
That drop would have "weakened" the company's ability to rally protesters, should they have tried a repeat of the tactics used in 2015.
Also, under Khosrowshahi, Uber doesn't view the taxi industry as the all-out enemy anymore, this person said.
The company particularly has sympathy for the the drivers themselves hurt by the rise of ride-sharing, the person said. Six of them have committed suicide in New York, blaming Uber for destroying their livelihoods.
Plus executives believe that Uber, under Khosrowshahi, has won back the good graces of regulators in London and Buenos Aires, and that this is a better strategy than campaigning against them in the long-term.
Internally at Uber, executives nowadays didn't see much of a threat to their long-term business by capping the number of ride sharing vehicles on the road at current levels in New York for a year, this person said. They don't believe that New York will become a model for other cities instituting caps, as Tusk warns.
Meanwhile, even if Uber has moved on, Tusk has no shortage of takers that want his brand of fight. He's currently working with electric scooter rental company Bird and daily fantasy sports firm FanDuel.
Source : ukbusinessInsider.com
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Uber investers are getting worried about their huge investments, as Uber's reputation starts catching up with them.
Saturday, August 11, 2018
In August 2017, London’s first electric black cabs hit the streets ahead of new legislation that came into effect this year, requiring all new cabs to be ‘zero emissions capable’. The TXe can operate for around 70 miles on battery power alone, with a petrol range extender allowing it to clock up around 400 miles before refuelling. But London’s very first electric cabs actually came into service exactly 120 years earlier.
"Mr W H Preece inaugurated a service of electrical cabs which are to ply for hire in the streets of London in competition with the ordinary hackney carriages," wrote The Engineer in August 1897. "Thirteen of these cabs are now ready for work, and a staff of drivers have been instructed in the use of them.
The cabs will be let out by the proprietors, the London Electrical Cab Company, Limited, just at the same rate and in the same manner as the London cabs. The ‘cabbies’ are, we are informed, quite enthusiastic about the new vehicle."
The London Electrical Cab – also commonly known as the ‘Hummingbird’ due to its sound, or the ‘Bersey Taxi’ after its young designer – first took to the streets of the capital on August 19 1897. Inventor Walter Charles Bersey was just 23 at the time, but had been designing and patenting electric vehicles for several years already. According to our predecessors, his creation was intended to mimic the appearance of the horse-drawn taxis of the day.
"The vehicle resembles very closely a horseless and shaftless coupé. It is carried on four wooden solid rubber-tired wheels. There is ample space for the coachmen. The accommodation within is luxurious. The propelling machinery consists of a 8-horse power Johnson-Lundell motor, with double wound armature and fields, so that by the use of a suitable switch or controller a variety of speeds can be obtained."
"The current is supplied by 40 EPS traction type cells, having a capacity of 170 ampere hours when discharged at a rate of 30 amperes. The cabs can thus travel between thirty and thirty-five miles per charge."
The vehicle had speed settings of three, seven and nine miles per hour, controlled by a lever at the side of the driver’s box. A powerful footbrake that broke the electrical circuit could also be applied, halting the vehicle in short order. This was one of four key conditions under which taxis were granted licenses by Scotland Yard, with carriages also required to be capable of turning in small spaces and climbing central London’s steepest ascent of the time, Savoy Hill.
The batteries, which weighed some 14 cwt (over 700 kg), were hung from springs underneath the vehicle and could be swapped out at Bersey’s Lambeth station using a system of hydraulic lifts. This was undoubtedly restrictive, and it was planned at the time to introduce other stations throughout London where the batteries could be charged and swapped. Though Bersey’s company claimed cab drivers welcomed the vehicle, it appears its introduction was not received as warmly from all quarters, as the following passage from a September 1897 edition of The Engineer illustrates.
"Mr. Walter C Bersey, the general manager of the London Electrical Cab Company, Ltd., has written to the general secretary of the London Cab Trade Council, saying that he fails to see how it can be contended that the introduction of electrical cabs can be against the interests of the cabdrivers. He says he has spoken to hundreds of cabmen on the subject, and has always understood they were most anxious for the change, as it would shorten their hours by saving the time wasted in changing horses, and also save them the unpleasantness of frequently having to drive tired and undesirable horses."
Despite Bersey’s protestations, the vehicle never really took off, with the fleet only reaching a peak of around 75 units. The cab’s two-tonne weight caused huge wear on the tyres which led to noise and vibrations escalating significantly after six months of use. Bersey’s company lost £6,200 in the first year of operation, and the business was forced to close in 1899, the vehicles disappearing from London’s streets just two years after making their debut.
Source : the engineer.co.uk, makewealthhistory.com