Saturday, March 31, 2018
The LCDC Seek Clarification On Passengers Refusing To Pay Fare : Email sent to Inspector Jas Sandu and Tfl staff
Friday, March 30, 2018
Another Paper tries To Blacken The Name Of Taxi Drivers As Private Hire Driver Fails To Clear His Name
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Germany's highest court said on Thursday that taxi-hailing app Mytaxi was allowed to offer discounts because it was not subject to the same pricing rules as taxi companies, overturning a lower court ruling.
The app "is itself not a taxi company, to which fixed prices would apply. It only acts as an agent for taxi orders that are independently carried out by taxi companies," the Federal Court of Justice said in a statement.
The ruling comes as a victory for Mytaxi, a day after parent Daimler and peer BMW announced plans to merge their units offering new services such as taxi-hailing, car sharing and electric vehicle charging.
The case had been brought by German taxi operator group Taxi Deutschland, which offers an app that competes with Mytaxi and which had said Mytaxi's discounts undercut official taxi fares.
Mytaxi had offered cab rides for half the regular price in several German cities if customers paid electronically instead of in cash. It paid the difference to the full fare itself, minus a commission fee.
Also, it had distributed vouchers that could be used toward taxi fares.
A lower court in Frankfurt had ruled in 2016 that the discounts were illegal, saying they were an "unfair commercial practice".
But the supreme court said on Thursday it saw no reason to limit competition among agents relaying orders to taxi companies.
Taxi companies still received the full fare under the discount scheme, and Mytaxi's services did not interfere with the normal functioning of the taxi market, it said.
Also, the price cuts had only been available in some cities and only for a limited period of time, which meant they did not crowd out competitors.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
A Slovak court has ordered Uber to suspend its operations in the country, a court spokesman said on Tuesday, responding to an action by taxi drivers who say the ride-hailing service represents unfair competition.
Though the decision came into effect on March 6 it was announced only on Tuesday and Uber services were still available in the Slovak capital Bratislava.
"The defendant is obliged to refrain from allowing people who do not meet legal requirements (...) to carry out taxi services in Slovakia," court spokesman Pavol Adamciak said.
The Bratislava-based Association of certified taxi drivers filed the lawsuit in January, arguing Uber drivers do not meet the requirements for professional taxi drivers and the cars do not meet the safety and regulatory requirements for professional transport services.
Uber in Slovakia declined to comment until it received the court decision.
Uber has faced regulatory and legal setbacks around the world amid opposition from traditional taxi services.
The European Union's top court said in a landmark ruling in December that Uber should be classified as a transport service and regulated like other taxi operators.
Last year in London, TfL deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and stripped it of its license to operate. Uber is appealing against the decision.
We’ve been informed that the Uber’s appeal will not be heard until after the workers rights case. This could mean the case dragging in till mid 2019
In the last two weeks, it has emerged the TfL licensed Uber London Ltd, are not and have not been dispatching jobs to drivers. Emails obtains by FOI request show that all journeys have been dispatched by an unlicensed Dutch company... Uber BV.
Emails published on Tim Fenton’s Zelo Street Blog show that top officials at TfL have known about this illegal activity since 2013, yet have repeatedly failed to act, sweeping scandal after scandal under the carpet (13,000 Fake DBS certificates- fake medicals- on off insurance- no landline).
See TfL putting the public at risk : http://taxileaks.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/tfl-have-knowingly-been-putting-public.html
Many London Taxi drivers are stunned at the lack of action from their representative orgs.
This is leading some drivers to believe the relationship between their representation and our regulators has become too close.
Taxi driver Peter Collins said: “what happened to the LTDA million pound war chest?
“Why are we constantly being asked to wait and see?
"Why haven't we seen our trade leaders banging on Mike Brown's door demanding a cease and desist order placed on Uber's operation? Too busy promoting a vehicle we can't afford !!!
“The Trade needs action now, before it’s too late. Uber could drag out their appeal for years, biding time until the London Taxi trade is just a memory”.
Monday, March 26, 2018
A taxi driver who drove two girls to a police station after they refused to pay him is devastated after being accused of kidnapping them on Facebook.
The mother of one of the girls in Hull posted a picture of Yakup Kahramanog, 42, online and he quickly began getting threats and abuse.
Taxis drivers are advised to drive passengers who refuse to pay their fairs directly to a police station but the backlash against Mr Kahramanog has left him considering giving up his job.
He told the Hull Daily Mail: ‘This is a really horrible situation to be in, it’s libellous. There are thousands of people on Facebook who have seen the post and I feel like I am being judged by them all because it has got everywhere.
‘I don’t want to go to work at night now, I am even thinking of leaving the taxi job and selling my car. I just don’t know what could happen to me.
‘How can I work confidently when I know someone who has seen me on Facebook could get in my car and attack me?’
Mr Kahramanog picked the girls up in west Hull at around 3.30am on Tuesday and drove them towards their homes, but they aroused suspicion by taking their shoes off and whispering to each other.
Yakup Kahramanog fears he will be attacked (Picture)
He asked them for £12, but they could only offer him £1. Then he asked them to get their parents to pay or to go to a cash machine, after they refused he drove to the police station.
Peter Nilsson, chairman of the Hull Hackney Carriage Association, backed Mr Kahramanog after viewing the CCTV footage.
He said: ‘He has acted in exactly the way he should. He never went anywhere near the girls and they were safe in the back of the vehicle.’
‘What he has gone through is awful. The woman has judge, jury and executed him on social media.’
Humberside Police confirmed they had given advice to both the taxi driver and the girls’ parents as the issue was a civil not a criminal matter.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
New Report Claims London's Congestion Charge Has Increased Pollution, Why Didn't TfL Move Towards Cleaner LPG?
London's congestion charge, introduced in 2003, has actually increased diesel pollution in the capital according to university researchers.
Scientists from Lancaster University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology presented a study on the matter at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference.
The study found that since the introduction of the charge, nitrogen dioxide levels in the city have increased by 20 per cent.
Nitrogen dioxide is a common emission from diesel vehicle exhausts, and is deemed to be so harmful that the World Health Organisation has classified that as carcinogenic, due to evidence they cause lung cancer. The study suggests that the discouragement of passenger cars could have pushed commuters into heavily polluting diesel buses and taxis.
These vehicles are exempt from paying the congestion charge, which currently costs £11.50 per day.
A parliamentary enquiry last year called air pollution in the capital a 'public health emergency', and as a result the city of London added an extra charge for owners of older, more polluting vehicles. The T-Charge covers any diesel vehicle which was built before Euro 4 emissions standards and costs an extra £10 on top of the existing £11.50 congestion charge.
John Heywood, lead author of the study, said: "Exempting buses and taxis meant that these diesel vehicles drove many more miles as a result of the congestion charge as commuters transferred out of personal cars into these forms of public transport. This reflected an explicit policy to expand public transport provision in the zone.
"As a consequence, the fuel mix of vehicles in the zone moved toward diesel . . . The reduction in other pollutants has to be weighed against negative health effects associated with a marked increase in NO2 emissions."
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
Funny, this commissioned report says nothing about the plague of extra private hire licenses dished out like sweets by TfL to anyone with the cash!
London's Private hire fleet has gone from 30,000 vehicles to 120,000 in just 6 years, as TfL have used private hire vehicle licenses as a cash cow to top up their coffers.
The report also makes no mention of the fact that TfL never promoted a move to LPG powered Taxis, leaving Taxi drivers with no option other than to purchase diesel vehicles.
The move away from CO2 producing older engines (CO2 virtually harmless to health) propagated the rise in NOx and Particle Matter production (which is dangerous to health and is alleged to be responsible for many thousand preventable deaths).
Another question then to TfL....why was no research done on this subject?
The buck has to be placed firmly at their door, not ours!
ELECTRIC ONLY MANDATE.....GOOD FOR THE GOOSE, BUT NOT THE GANDER
TAXI LEAKS LATE NITGHT EXTRA:
LCDC Regular trade update from Grant Davis
No secret squirrel
Proactive not reactive 👀👍🏻
Source : AOL
A simple, affordable and apparently foolproof solution to the problem that has led to the current worldwide ‘demonisation’ of diesel engines — emissions of life-limiting NOx — has been discovered by a team of British automotive research specialists at Loughborough University.
The system, called ACCT (ammonia creation and conversion technology), has reached such a promising stage that the creators are being besieged by car manufacturers, component suppliers and even owners of large diesel fleets that have heard about the innovation and are desperate to use it to solve what they see as motoring’s most urgent problem.
The team — led by Graham Hargrave, professor of optical diagnostics, and Jonathan Wilson, research associate — has been working on exhaust missions for many years but achieved its breakthrough in the past two.
From its current state, ACCT should be fairly easy to engineer, the team believes, and could reach production within two years "with the right support”.
In essence, the system converts AdBlue, the universally available urea-based after-treatment, into a special ammonia-rich ‘ACCT fluid’ under accurately controlled conditions in an exhaust-mounted chamber.
Like current selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, it then uses freed ammonia “literally to rip NOx apart”, leaving only nitrogen and water. The crucial difference between the two systems is that ACCT fluid keeps working at high efficiency in low exhaust temperature conditions that challenge current systems.
Preliminary tests on a city-based stop-start Skoda taxi indicate that ACCT can capture 98% of exhaust-borne NOx, compared with 60% for the same car running a conventional EU6 system — even before researchers had a chance to ‘tune’ the ACCT system for the best performance.
Experts with knowledge of the development are starting to talk in terms of “virtually zero-emission” diesel engines and citing ACCT as being even more important than the arrival of the common-rail diesel.
In the past decade, NOx has become an infamous problem. It springs from the fact that diesels become more efficient as they run hotter, but this heat increases their NOx output. The effect has led to rapidly rising awareness of NOx’s detrimental effect on health; current European research suggests it shortens 71,000 lives a year.
Since 2014, the practice of injecting diesel exhausts with AdBlue via SCR exhaust catalysts has proved effective in most situations and has dramatically lowered average NOx outputs. But, as the Loughborough researchers point out, gaps in SCR’s effectiveness remain – notably when low exhaust temperatures prevent complete decomposition of AdBlue, such as when a vehicle is idling in traffic, especially in stop-start conditions. NOx outputs rise when SCR doesn’t function well, and that's the root of recent reports that even new-car exhausts sometimes produce multiples of permitted NOx levels.
As Hargrave explained, there’s a deep irony in this. While NOx has hit the headlines, CO2 continues to kill the planet. “NOx is serious,” he said, “but it’s really a point-source problem. It only matters in a tiny minority of locations.
"Solve it and you can get on with reducing CO2, which is important everywhere.”
Because of concerns over NOx, Europe’s diesel market is in near chaos. Sales of oil-burning cars have collapsed by 20%, putting pressure on margins and infrastructure. A swing to more CO2-heavy petrol vehicles means CO2 targets are being missed — at the very moment these targets are about to tighten.
For light commercial vehicles, there’s no realistic prospect of reducing diesel use in the short term. Market experts don’t believe buyers will entertain a rapid change to downsized petrol engines or hybrids. For heavy goods vehicles, the situation is much worse.
Whereas car engines are ‘dialled back’ on NOx and need only light doses of AdBlue, trucks need much more.
In cold-exhaust conditions (winter, for example), the incomplete breakdown of AdBlue leaves damaging and almost immovable exhaust deposits in complex exhaust systems that reduce power and even immobilise trucks completely. Understandably, the market in defeat devices for HGVs is lively.
The Loughborough team says it now needs a heavyweight technology partner to take ACCT to production but is wary of ceding valuable intellectual property rights cheaply.
Negotiations between the university’s IP specialists and prospective partners are in full swing. “Our sense is that we need a major supplier rather than a single manufacturer,” said Hargrave.
Whatever ACCT’s route to market, an increasing number of potential users are desperate to see its progress. It could lead to a whole new lease of life for diesels.
How it happened
If ACCT changes diesels, as seems likely, it will be because Wilson decided to do a PhD at Loughborough University. Hargrave, his professor, explains: “We’ve known for ages there was an NOx problem with AdBlue and low temperatures. Jonathan had an idea that could solve it but needed the opportunity to develop it, so we went to the university and organised an internal scholarship. He’d worked on a similar topic through his undergraduate years.
"That work made it clear that if anyone was going to solve this problem, it’d be Jonathan. So we said here’s the lab and the money. Just go and make it work. And he did…”
UBER POOL vs UBER FOOL
Uber is selling its South East Asia ride-share and food delivery businesses to regional rival Grab.
The move marks a further retreat from international operations for Uber, after it sold its China business to local rival Didi Chuxing.
Both firms describe the deal as a win for their passengers, but analysts warn it could mean higher prices.
Grab is South East Asia's most popular ride-sharing firm with millions of users across eight countries.
Under the terms of the deal, Uber will take a 27.5% stake in Singapore-based Grab. Uber's chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, will also join Grab's board.
The value of the deal has not been made public.