Saturday, February 24, 2018
Friday, February 23, 2018
Minicab drivers licensed in London will no longer be able to drive for Uber in Brighton. The US company is to make changes to its app next month, in a bit to appease TfL.
Too Little, Too a Late ???
The multinational company announced last week that it was splitting the UK into different regions, and that drivers would only be able to use the app within the region their licensing authority was located from March 14.
Brighton is part of the south coast region, which means drivers from immediately neighbouring authorities, such as Lewes and Adur, will be able to drive in the city – but those licensed with TfL won’t. The latest available figures from TfL indicate that 78 drivers are licensed in London but have Brighton and Hove addresses.
But local union bosses say the changes have been made to pre-empt changes in the law preventing any cross-border hiring – which they are still pushing for.
Andy Peters, secretary of GMB’s Brighton and Hove taxi branch, said: “Although we will no longer see cars from Wolverhampton or Sefton working in Brighton, at the moment there is no specific detail on how big this region is.
“All the TfL ph drivers who live in Brighton and predominantly work in the city because they either failed the high standards that the city requires or who just could not be bothered to even attempt to go for a Brighton licence will only be able to work in London.
The question is why has Uber suddenly taken this change in direction? Is there something that Uber knows will be happening in the future with regard to cross border hiring?
“Uber has not done this as a favour. This is not how Uber works. Is this a case of Uber becoming scared of what the Local Government Association has been pushing for and trying to act quickly before there is a change in legislation?
“However this does not go far enough because it doesn’t matter whether a private hire is working predominantly in Brighton and Hove from over 250 miles away or just 50. The fact is that Uber is still encouraging private hire vehicles to predominantly work in areas that they are not licensed in.
“This announcement should not make people think it is all over as it certainly is not. Do not be fooled by Uber. The fight goes on to fully change legislation.”
In its announcement, Uber said: “While cross-border driving is something the law allows for and is common in private hire journeys across England and Wales, we’ve heard from local licensing authorities that the way our app works can make it hard for them to oversee what some drivers are doing in their jurisdiction.
“That’s why next month we are making a significant change which will mean drivers will only be able to use our app within the region where they are licensed as a private hire driver.
“While we will of course keep everything under review we believe this change strikes the right balance for the drivers, riders and cities we serve.
“It will help local licensing authorities tackle the challenge they currently face in regulating drivers in their area when they are licensed in another part of the country; passengers will still be able to take affordable long distance trips (such as to and from airports, hospitals or back home after a night out in the city centre); and drivers will be able to carry out those longer trips without being forced to drive back without a fare paying passenger.”
According to the latest figures from TfL, there are a total of 78 private hire drivers licensed to drive in London whose registered address has a BN1, BN2 or BN3 postcode. Under the new Uber rules, these drivers will no longer be able to use the Uber app in Brighton and Hove.
A further 14 are licensed taxi drivers, but these will be black cab drivers who work in the capital.
Source Brighton and Hove News.
Efficiently matching supply with demand is the bread and butter of tech platforms operating in the gig economy.
AirBnb matches spare rooms with short-term renters. Deliveroo matches restaurants with hungry consumers, via a network of riders and Uber matches car owners with people who need lifts.
Each transaction creates rich data.
When processed, that data becomes information. With Uber in particular, when analysed, the information paints an incredible portrait of the urban environment, which can be used to drive business, making the firm more competitive, and more profitable.
This data is not just a valuable asset, but the very crux of Uber’s competitive advantage.
Last week, Transport for London (TfL), in a thinly-veiled reference to Uber, following years of conflict, released a policy statement for private hire services in London. Buried on page five, it suggests: “operators should share data with TfL, so that travel patterns in London and the overall impact of the services can be understood.”
It’s not actually clear what sort of data TfL is after. A spokesperson said that the organisation hasn’t “got anything more to say than is in the policy statement for now,” which is very little. “More details will follow in the coming months.”
TfL is expecting the total cash from Tube and bus fares to drop by £56m in this financial year.
The data Uber collects from the thousands of journeys it facilitates is of unquestionable value to TfL. Gaining insight into how the city moves could save TfL money at a time when it is expecting the total cash from Tube and bus fares to drop by £56m in this financial year.
For example, understanding where hotspots of activity occur on the app – where people are using less public transport – could lead to TfL making efficiencies on underused bus routes. Knowing where and when journeys start and end could enable TfL to better react to demand, perhaps devising some sort of demand response service.
Likewise, with 40,000 drivers using its app, Uber has (it is widely accepted) exacerbated the capital’s growing congestion problem. Better understanding traffic trends could help TfL to plan roadworks and major public events. Quantifying the effect of disrupted public services could prepare TfL for incident response.
The list goes on.
“Nobody has a crystal ball to predict long-term needs,” says Nathan Marsh, intelligent mobility lead director for UK & Europe at urban planning behemoth Atkins. “Big data provides context and real-time accuracy about how people use them, which urban planners can utilise to better determine future trends, and to build in agility and flexibility”.
Hand it over
The usefulness of Uber’s data is clear. But why should it give up any part of its greatest – and arguably only – competitive advantage to the state? Diktats of this nature simply don’t occur in more established industries. It highlights TfL’s struggles with a new business model that doesn’t fit with existing regulations.
TfL will need to explain why disclosure of this data is necessary for it to perform its regulatory functions
“TfL will need to explain why disclosure of this data is necessary for it to perform its regulatory functions,” says Michael Stacey, senior associate at Russell-Cooke.
“TfL’s job is primarily to decide whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a private hire operator’s licence. It is not clear that detailed journey data is necessary to enable it to judge whether applicants meet that test.
“The onus will be on TfL to either justify why this is required under its existing powers, or seek new powers to obtain this information from operators.”
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Murkier and murkier!!!
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore’s competition commission said on Monday it plans to do further in-depth assessment of the tie-up between the city-state’s top Taxi operator, ComfortDelGro, and Uber [UBER.UL], after an initial review.
The agency said it had requested further information from both parties to be submitted by March 5, after which it will assess whether their tie-up infringes Singapore’s competition laws.
“CCS (Competition Commission of Singapore) is unable to conclusively determine that competition issues will not arise,” it said in a statement.
ComfortDelGro said in a statement that “both parties remain committed to this partnership”.
ComfortDelGro said in December it would buy a 51 percent stake in a unit of Uber that runs a fleet of private hire vehicles, as the companies seek to bridge the gap with dominant ride-hailing firm Grab.
Is this a case of, if you can't beat em, join em?
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Deputy mayor for transport slams government for abandoning London's transport network as TfL faces near £1bn deficit
London's deputy mayor for transport will issue a rebuke of government today for abandoning the capital's transport network as Transport for London (TfL) faces a near £1bn operational deficit next year.
The organisation is dealing with the loss of government funding, as well as a surprise fall in passenger numbers, and tonight, Val Shawcross will call for a reinstatement of London's "vital transport funding" to help shore up future progress.
[No surprise in passenger falling numbers Val, TfL have overloaded London’s streets with unnecessary private hire vehicles, to raise funds from licence fees.
Bus journeys are heavily affected as passengers caught up in massive congestion, added to by TfL and the Mayors Cycle schemes.
We could of pointed this out long ago Val had you not turned your back in the Licensed Taxi trade and refused meetings]
Speaking at the International Transport Workers' Federation urban transport committee at City Hall, Shawcross will say: "With the economic uncertainty of Brexit, it’s more important than ever that the government supports our capital - because when London succeeds, the country succeeds."
[pedestrianisation of major streets will also cause more congestion, more pollution and more bus delays causing passengers to look for alternate transport]
Our capital is the beating heart of the UK and our roads are the arteries, so it’s just astounding that the government is not only prepared to take away vital funding but make London’s drivers pay for roads outside the capital.
We’ve seen from the success of the Crossrail project how investment in London can benefit the whole of the country, and it’s vital that the government uses its spring statement next month to reinstate TfL’s funding and keep the capital moving.
TfL's budget is £700m a year lower after the government's decision in 2015 to strip back the operating grant, while the capital's transport bosses are also angry that the government has said that from 2021, the £500m raised each year through Londoners' vehicle excise duty will be invested solely in roads outside the capital.
City Hall says Londoners are paying for roads across the UK with no contribution towards the upkeep of the roads they will be driving on, and the costs of running London's roads are being subsidised from public transport fare-payers.
[Many Londoners have paid for and are still paying for roads in the capital that are being taken away from motorist by the Mayor and TfL to be given to pedestrians and cyclist who as such have not contributed a penny towards London’s roads]
The capital's transport chiefs have also said the government has blocked London from accessing the new £220m national clean air fund.
[possibly because TfL and the Mayor’s schemes have caused most of the unclean air]
A fresh blow in recent weeks came with transport secretary Chris Grayling stepping in to block TfL's planned motorist fine hike, saying the rise, which was forecast to bring in an extra £80m, would be "excessive".
The move drew criticism from London Assembly Labour member Tom Copley at the time, who said: "Chris Grayling has form when it comes to playing politics with London's transport network, having already reneged on the deal to devolve suburban rail services to TfL. It is unfortunate that he continues to do so."
The mayor has pushed for a major overhaul of TfL with significant savings needed, though critics have said his partial fare freeze has added to the pressure.
So far, the budget reduction has meant all non-essential road improvements have been paused for two years.
Separately, the fall in passenger numbers has led to the cancellation of two major Tube upgrades on the Northern and Jubilee Lines, as the Tube is the only part of the network to make a profit.
The Department for Transport has previously said on the issue: "We are taking the big decisions for Britain’s future and investing a record £23bn on our roads to improve journeys for motorists.
“It is the responsibility of the mayor to determine how Transport for London’s budget is spent.”
TAXI LEAKS NEWS EXTRA:
Locals in Camden say there are no police on the streets due to buget cuts. Residents say they are scared to leave their houses and flats.
Meanwhile London's Mayor Sadiq Khan refuses to be interviewed on TV news channels over the stabbings.
TWO young men have been stabbed to death in Camden within the space of an hour, with reports of several other attacks throughout the night.
A 17-year-old boy was attacked with a knife in Kentish Town, near the Peckwater estate, at 8:30pm. He was pronounced dead 30 minutes later, just yards from the shrine to a 19-year-old who was killed on Sunday.
A second young man was stabbed to death in Malden Road, Queen’s Crescent, at around 10pm.
He has been named locally as Sadiq Aadam, the brother of 20-year-old Mohamed Aadam, who was murdered in Hampstead Road in September. Their cousin, Mohamed Abdullahi, was murdered in 2013 aged 20.
Police closed Islip Street in Kentish Town
Police are carrying out extra patrols and officers have been given emergency powers to stop and search anyone, without the need for “reasonable grounds” of suspicion. Known as Section 60 order, it is a measure often introduced after serious flare-ups of youth violence and means anyone in the area can be detained and frisked.
The Met said: “Urgent enquiries are underway to establish the full circumstances and identify if there are any links between the two incidents.”
There were reports on social media of up to six stabbings taking place within the space of a few hours on Tuesday night. Police confirmed there had been two murders, but said they unaware of any other “critical incidents”.
In Kentish Town, paramedics and police officers battled to save the boy’s life on the pavement at the junction of Islip Street and Bartholomew Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Neighbours said that he lived with his family on the nearby Peckwater estate, where a shrine was built on Sunday night in the memory of 19-year-old Lewis Blackman, who was murdered in West London.
The shrine was built next to one in the memory of his friend, Nuno Cardoso, a law student who died after collapsing in a police van in December.
Flowers to Nuno Cardoso and Lewis Blackman
The community centre on the Peckwater estate was opened up late tonight to provide shelter for the relatives of the latest victim, who have gathered at the scene. A group of around 50 friends and family were at the scene.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : From Local Mum and friend of the London Taxi Trade Mandy J Sanderson. (Taken from Facebook).
What on earth is the world coming too!
Young men losing there lives, mothers losing there sons, just tonight 4 or 5 stabbings on our doorstep. What is going on, words fail me, my heart goes out to all families who are affected by this madness its so scary
Camden Council in there wisdom cut back the youth service, they took away the one thing these kids had to help them survive.
And now look whats going on, no guidance, no support anywhere for the youth to be mentored, to learn a different way. Its all gone to shit...but yet, Camden take millions in revenue from issuing PCNs alone, they pay shit loads out in expense accounts for there over paid brain dead staff, wtf is that all about.
The power's that be need to get some common sense factors initiated right now god dam.
For instance lets take Camden's recycling centre who crush millions of pounds of decent computers, bikes, toys etc daily.
Lets set up a project where the youth could have a workshop where there use the parts from one broken bike to repair another broke bike and make a nice fully working bike which could then be sold off on site, and a percentage of the profit goes to the youth that did this project.
Hence teaching the youth, if you take the time to work, you can earn money. If they channel their energy into this sort of stuff they will be too tired to go out looking for trouble and will learn if you work hard you can have money without breaking the law.
But no one wants to give these kids a chance, no one wants to show them a better way.
They could make a start in schools. We need to bring back proper assemblies,where they talk to kids about respect and manners and how far these life skills go. I honestly learnt so much from our school assemblies its time to bring it back.