Saturday, December 08, 2018

The right of Brighton and Hove to decide its own taxi regulations is being "undermined" by Uber ..... Brighton & Hove News

   

The right of Brighton and Hove to decide its own taxi regulations is being "undermined" by Uber ..... Brighton & Hove News

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2018/11/27/uber-undermining-local-rules-appeal-judge-told/#comment-187027

"Right To Roam" Philip Kolvin QC

"The right of Brighton and Hove to decide its own taxi regulations is being "undermined" by Uber and its use of out of area cars, the city council argued as it defended its decision to suspend the controversial ride hailing app’s licence.

Brighton and Hove City Council appealed to district judge Tessa Szagun’s sympathy for localism over the so-called "right to roam" which allows cars licensed in other areas to operate within the city.

But Uber fought back, saying there was not a "scrap of evidence" that out of area taxi drivers had been "rampaging into Brighton" and causing harm to passengers, and pointing out the only complaints had been made by local taxi companies.

Leo Charalambides, appearing for the council at Uber’s appeal, told Brighton Magistrates Court the implications of cross border hiring as used by mobile apps such as Uber had not been tested in the higher courts.

He said: "There were concerns from the outset that the impact of this novel operation needed to be assessed and considered.

"If you look at the example of CCTV in Brighton and Hove, that’s a local policy which is rooted in genuine local concerns.

"There are 97 Uber drivers in Brighton who have CCTV but 117 registered in Lewes operating in the area which may not have.

(AP Comment: No mention of all the other areas that have flooded this city...just concentrated on Lewes.. nothing about all those cars from Chichester.. Southampton.. Portsmouth... Fareham ...Havant.. and more?? )

"My case is an appeal for your sympathy for loyalism.

"Our local councillors are concerned that that the right to roam is having an adverse impact on the application of our local policy.

"Can the right to roam be of such importance that the power of local people to decide what their own public interest requires can be so outweighed by that particular legal consideration?"

(AP Comment: Philip Kolvin QC was very vigorous with using the phrase "Right to Roam!" many times throughout the hearing.... possibly a clever subconscious ploy that these clever people use.....And quoting Knowsley... But didnt that just apply to the driver licence and not actually the vehicles licence? However... Uber has created those ‘Uber Mythical Regions" which ironically "Restricts the right to roam" )

"The council’s head of safer communities Joanne Player, said that should Uber "geofence" its app to prevent anyone hailing a non-Brighton licensed taxi within the city, the council would be happy to reinstate its licence.""

(AP Comment: There was no mention that Uber had geofenced London from allowing any other PHV from accepting work within the city.. probably because of the outcry that it would cause in London and affect the Uber London licence...... So Uber uses ‘Right to Roam’ when it suits....)

"However, she also acknowledged that should Uber lose its licence, it could still offer rides in the city but the council would have no power of enforcement over it or any of its drivers. She said: "There probably is a degree of absurdity.

Philip Kolvin QC, appearing for Uber, said it was not the court’s job to apply an unlawful condition, such as geofencing, for the higher courts to then decide on.

He said: "The chief magistrate has said the question of cross border hiring is irrelevant to the fit and proper assessment.

"This is a perfect example of using licensing law for an ulterior motive.

"Are these Uber drivers rampaging in Brighton and causing harm? In fact there’s not a scrap of evidence that speaks of actual harm."

(AP Comment: Well how about all the photos and videos of out-of-town cars sleeping in the vehicles night in and night out.? How about all those PHV and hackneys that have been reported by the trade for breaking conditions of their own licensing rules such as removing council door signs....illegally working (not having to display licence or livery) under an ‘Exemption Policy’ which councils do not allow for everyday PHV work.. with the biggest culprits being Lewes DC & Chichester vehicles. I fear that Mr Charalambides was not briefed on this as none of this was mentioned in court to defend ‘Localism’.  

Additionally I spoke with the local Uber rep at the Appeal and had an interesting conversation of localism and put to her the issue of all those out-town-vehicles sleeping in their cars on the seafront... including using the car park by the cafe near Roedene School....night in and night out...... there was no reply... no reaction..... just silence.... )

"Removing the right for Transport for London drivers to drive here has taken a lot of heat out of this situation. My client is now well on track to meet the 20 per cent wheelchair accessible vehicle requirement when it hits 100 cars.

"The heat which seemed to be there in April and May seems to have vanished. The direction of travel is a good one."

"My client should be allowed to continue to be licensed here rather than operating outside the council’s jurisdiction."

Fred Jones, Uber’s head of mobility who has been involved with Uber in Brighton since it launched in October 2016, told the court that a web page which unfavourably compared the cost and speed of getting a licence in Brighton with Lewes had now been taken down.""

(AP Comment: Yep you took it down because I pointed this out the council as proof that you were effectively encouraging drivers to get a quick and easy licence outside of Brighton & Hove to come and work here)

He explained the page had been put up after Uber created nine UK regions within which drivers had to be licensed if they wanted to drive there, which meant many London based drivers who worked in Brighton would need to be re-licensed.

He said: "They were facing a situation where they would be not able to drive. We didn’t provide pros and cons, we just provided information about what drivers are most interested in, which would include costs and the different steps."

(AP Comment: No.. there are other Apps and companies in the city Mr Jones... in fact a lot of Brighton & Hove Uber drivers use more than one App.. so please don’t try the ‘heart strings’ ploy) 

"He also said that Uber had given £1,000 to any driver who applied for a Brighton licence, with a further incentive of 250 commission-free trips once the licence was granted."

"And he explained that Uber was strongly in favour of cross border hiring because it meant drivers weren’t having to travel back from other areas with no fares, thus driving up congestion and pollution as well as overall fares."

(AP Comment: Very funny Mr Jones... so what about all those out-of-town drivers who actually drive up to hundreds of miles to come to Brighton & Hove to predominantly work in the city.. and then drive back again? You couldn’t make it up unless you are an Uber employee!)

"Uber originally lost its licence in May following a licensing panel hearing in April at Hove Town Hall after councillors decided it was not a "fit and proper person" to be an operator, citing cross border hiring and a data breach, for which Uber was today fined £385,000."

"Today’s appeal hearing, which was originally scheduled for two days, finished this afternoon. Ms Szagun scheduled another hearing for 11 December at Brighton Magistrates Court where she will announce her judgement."

AP Comment: I would like to thank Jo Player (Brighton Council) who was sworn in as a witness.... and was up against the Uber QC Philip Kolvin who robustly asked all the right question to which Jo had to answer with absolute honesty.

With the typical Surging of nearly 3X normal rate this week because it rained in the city.... this is what will be probably be the normal cost to the public in Brighton & Hove when it takes over Brighton & Hove... and to think the hackney trade is currently hesitating for a small fare review as fares have remained static for three years.

Perhaps the trade should ask for permission for the hackneys to have a ‘Rain Tariff’ ... because at the moment Uber has the unfair advantage over the hackneys because the council controls what hackney drivers can earn...

Friday, December 07, 2018

MYTAXI LAUNCH ELECTRIC SCOOTER FLEET IN COMPETITION TO ITS OWN TAXI SERVICE.

 

After announcing plans to add electric scooters to their portfolio a month ago, MyTaxi revealed the location of their pilot as Lisbon. 

Customers in the Portuguese capital can rent a scooter from a fleet of hundreds. For Daimler, this may open a whole new venture labelled Hive and is in competition to its current Taxi services. 

For now they run the kick scooters under a new label, Hive, and Daimler embedded the service in a dedicated app of the same name. Yet Mytaxi CEO Eckart Diepenhorst told German media that this model will either kick-start a new service via Hive or else they may integrate it into the existing MyTaxi ride-hailing offer.

The pilot is new territory for Daimler and the CEO confirmed as much. While they use electric scooters made by Segway in Lisbon, Diepenhorst stressed that it would be "crucial to develop our own hardware" especially when moving into regions with more adverse weather conditions.

Indeed Hive may expand as early as next year depending on the market and the experiences they are making just now. The MyTaxi CEO also pointed to the importance of a good working relation with the respective city. He added it had been a decisive factor when opting for Portugal.

To rent an electric scooter via the Hive app comes at the cost of a one euro base fee and 15 cent per minute afterwards. Half an hour thus adds up to almost 5 euros. This is the normal market rate and the same Lime in Paris is asking. The electric scooters of both Lime or Hive can be left anywhere.

MyTaxi will consider to rolling out their Hive fleet of electric scooters across Europe if things work out in Lisbon.

We are not sure if Hive is the right choice of names for this venture given the popularity of the Hive smart home devices.

TFL ADVISE TAXI DRIVERS TO REFUSE CARD PAYMENT, RATHER THAN USEALTERNATIVE PAYMENT DEVICE

You really couldn’t make it up...TfL telling independent traders how they can and can not conduct their businesses.

Today has seen outages on the O2 network, the O2 website has the following Service Status inormation.
The network issue we are currently experiencing remains a top priority for us and we are working as quickly as possible to fix the issues.
All O2 technical teams are working closely with one of our third party suppliers who has identified a global software issue in their system which has impacted data services. 
We believe other mobile operators around the world are also affected.
We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience. 
Normally a mobile telephone network outage would not affect a Taxi drivers daily life, but since October 2016 London Taxis have been compelled to accept card payments.
A lot of these card payment systems use the O2 network for their data connections, so an outage affects taxi drivers being able to accept card payments.
After a number of tweets from drivers, TFL have posted a Tweet stating that they are aware of the data outage on the O2 Network affecting some mobile payment devices. They state that affected drivers should advise customers before accepting a fare and offer to take them to a ATM so that they can pay by cash.
The piece of advice that is considered unbelievable is that TFL state that "Under no circumstances should drivers use an alternative, non-fixed card payment device. 
As far as we know, TfL have no right under any current regulation to make this statement. If a passenger wishes to pay the fare by any means the driver finds acceptable, TfL’s argument is not valid. 
Source : Taxi-News.co.uk

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT 
Latest news in the O2 data outage from Sky News :
Click this link 

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The Battle of Tooley St - Sean Paul Day's victory speech at Bank Junction.

Enjoy this morning my merry brothers 🔵

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost...
It yearns me not if men my garments wear
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.

But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.

We few, we happy few.... we band of brothers 

The drivers who worked and now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here

They hold their manhoods cheap while any speaks that fought with us upon Bank Junction day.

   

Exclusive : St Pancras Station Improvement Works, Lost In Translation.


The LCDC's ranks and highways officer Alan McGrady had a 45 minute phone conversation today with the chief officer in charge of the changes currently underway at St Pancras Station. 

The officer assured Alan that other than the removal of the bypass access road to the taxi rank (which is to be given over to become a two way cycle lane) there are no other plans to make further changes to our rank. 

He explained that a problem seems to have arisen because of a difference of meaning to the term Taxi Rank. When the trade refers to the term 'Taxi Rank', it means the marked space outside the Midland Road doors where Taxis rank up plying for hire. But to the station planners, 'Taxi Rank' refers to the area inside the station where passengers wait to access Taxis waiting outside at (in he's words) the Taxi pick up point. 

He went on to explain the email posted on social media:
The email stated, 'the under utilised Taxi rank area'...meaning the area inside the station, 'owing to the popularity of private hire bookings from firms like Uber, will be given over to become a shop space inside the station'.

He went on to say that there were no plans whatsoever for an Uber/PH rank or waiting area. 


See Alan's Periscope, click link below.

ANOTHER NAIL IN UBERS BUSINESS MODEL COFFIN ?


The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission voted on Tuesday to set a minimum pay rate for drivers who work for app-based companies like Uber and Lyft.

This new rule will go into effect in 20 days, and it will require drivers to be paid at least $27.86 an hour, which translates to $17.22 after expenses. According to a study from TLC, most drivers currently earn around $11.90 an hour. This change increases the yearly earnings of drivers by $9,000.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) applauded the change, citing years of activism in hopes of achieving an increase like this. “It’s the first real attempt anywhere to stop app driver pay cuts, which is an Uber and Lyft business practice at the heart of poverty wages,” the NYTWA said.

In a statement, Uber said the new rule would likely lead to fare hikes for users of the ride-hailing service. Uber “supports efforts to ensure that full-time drivers in NYC — whether driving with taxi, limo or Uber — are able to make a living wage, without harming outer borough riders who have been ignored by yellow taxi and underserved by mass transit,” a spokesperson added. 

Lyft voiced similar sentiments as Uber, saying, “These rules would be a step backward for New Yorkers, and we urge the TLC to reconsider them.”

Via, which already pays drivers a higher-than-minimum wage, supported the move. In a statement to The Verge, the company said, “As the industry leader in driver earnings in New York City, we are looking forward to working with the TLC on implementing this rule.”

This move is only one of several in New York targeting these services. Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have been facing backlash from New York City officials for the past few years over the number of vehicles allowed on the streets. In August, after a summer of debate, city officials moved to restrict the number of for-hire delivery and transportation vehicles. It was the first city in the country to do so, poking a dent in one of the companies’ most profitable markets.

Source : The Verge.com

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Latest Score From The Where Buses Go We Go Demo..Taxi Trade 2 - TfL 0


It’s just been announce on London Taxi Radio that after today’s meeting with Mike Brown, the trade has learned that we are to be included in the Tooley Street, Duke Street Hill Bus lane initiative. 

At the meeting were Grant Davis (LCDC) and Andy Nichols (RMT) who have left Mike Brown in no doubt that this isn’t the end of our action but the beginning of our fight to reclaim all the streets, bus lanes, no right and no left turns. 

He was told in no uncertain terms that, as part of Public Hire and under the terms of the Hackney Carriage acts where Buses Go, We Go. 

The announcement was made at the conclusion of today’s action at the Bank Junction by Sean Paul Day, who received a massive cheer and was lifted up shoulder high by the jubilant drivers. 

There is just one request and that’s for every driver and their family and friends to make sure you fill in every consultation that concerns/affects the trade. 

This will come as a shock to all the knockers who said ‘Demos don’t work’.... truth is they more often than not do. And we’ve won this one hands down. 

A massive thank you from the ITA, LCDC and the RMT, to all the drivers who gave up their time and money, to support their colleagues and fight for the future of the trade. 

Tin hat on now, because we expect the trolls and stay at home keyboards warriors will be out in force saying it’s not enough, it’s too little or that we shouldn’t stop now. 

Well we are not stopping....we are having a break till after Christmas and will be back in the new year, refreshed, fighting for every street that’s been taken away. 


Remember the words of Bob Crow:

"If you fight, you may not win.

But if you don’t fight, you will definitely lose".

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:

A word from the ITA ...

YOU'VE DONE A FANTASTIC JOB 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

GO BACK TO WORK 

FILL IN EVERY CONSULTATION.

AND HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS 🎄🎁

SEE YOU ALL AT TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD IN JANUARY ✊🏼

AND BANK JUNCTION, WE'LL BE BACK - WE HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN YOU CHRIS 

Day 7 : Who Said Protests Don't Work...Stick It Out People. by I'm Spartacus


Emmanuel Macron has signalled for France's Prime Minister to suspended the fuel duty rises that have sparked widespread protests and unrest across the country. 

The French p.m. Edwardos Philippe is to announce a suspension of the fuel tax hikes on Tuesday, the AFP news agency reports.

Mister Philippe is to meet with the groups who organised the protests today. 

 
Reason being....the yellow vests! Le Gilets Jaune!


Shops in Paris took 20% of the normal takings, 3 weeks from Christmas. Restaurants were empty because of the protesters on the streets...

They all got together and got onto the Mayor of Paris, and the Mayor of Paris got onto the president saying how businesses can't stand this, we can't stand this...

So ladies and gentlemen who are out in the city between the hours of 4pm and 7pm :

The message is clear, the message is simple...think about whats happened in Paris...think about the big chain stores, think about the Primarks, think about the restaurants and all these type of businesses in the run up to Christmas and the January sales!!!

Imagine the fuss these people can make with the politicians, if people aren't going through their doors, because of difficulties to get around!!!

So stick it out brothers and sisters, stick it out and Viva La France. 

WHERE BUSES GO, WE GO.

By I'm Spartacus. 

Uber Driver Still Working After Being Reported For Alleged Machete Attack, Caught On DashCam


Absolutely disgusting...

MINICABS have descended to a Lawless level not seen since pre-licensing years. 

Courtesy of UBER, MINICABS HAVE NEVER BEEN SO DANGEROUS 


The Uber drivers of the car pictured below, was eventually caught carrying a machete. He was driving an untaxed Uber car which also had no mot. Knowsley Council must be so proud of who they’ve gifted Private Hire operator’s and driver licenses to. 

The driver was eventually captured after he had threatened a Liverpool Hackney carriage Taxi driver with the machete. 

Joe ODwyer, a Liverpool Hackney Carriage Taxi Driver said on twitter last night:

“ Thing is, this Driver is still out there working! I can confirm this, as I saw him at dinnertime on Allerton Road so still driving/working. 

“I’m pretty sure if i was stopped by the police and was found to have a knife in my cab, my license would be revoked immediately. So wtf is going on with this company?”

Ex-Uber Security Employees Allege ‘Deeply Troubling’ Practices

Four former employees on Uber Technologies Inc.’s security team are claiming in court that the company is trying to block them from disclosing "a number of deeply troubling practices at Uber that have not been publicly revealed."

The ex-employees didn’t substantiate their claim in a filing Friday in state court in San Francisco. They were responding to last week’s complaint by the ride-hailing giant accusing them of improperly taking confidential records when they left the company and using the information to draft their own lawsuit against Uber.

The four -- Mat Henley, Nicholas Gicinto, Edward Russo and Jacob Nocon -- said in the filing that they have evidence of "potentially criminal initiatives against competitors, secret capabilities embedded in Uber’s smartphone applications, and offensive intrusions into the privacy of users."

"We don’t object to these former employees making any claims they wish," Uber spokesman Matt Kallman said in an emailed statement. "What we do object to is their walking off with company property and their misuse of privileged information for personal gain."

The legal filings are part of the wide-reaching fallout from Waymo’s lawsuit alleging that Uber stole its trade secrets for self-driving cars -- which the companies settled this year in the middle of a trial.

During the Waymo case, a former colleague of the four men, Richard Jacobs, took the witness stand to detail accusations he had presented to federal prosecutors that the company’s security unit engaged in questionable corporate surveillance tactics and illegal activities. Henley, Gicinto, Russo and Nocon later sued Jacobs for defamation, alleging his claims were untrue.

The four contend Uber not only failed to defend their reputations but also repeated some of Jacobs’s false statements. They’ve drafted a complaint against the company for defamation and wrongful termination, according to Friday’s filing.

Source : Bloomberg 

Monday, December 03, 2018

There Are Lies, Damn lies, And TfL Accident Statistics ... BankJunction 4-7pm All Week.

After the success of the week long protest in London Bridge, the ever growing ranks of the Proactive ITA move northwards to the Bank Junction itself.
We now know that the same tactic have been used at Tooley Street that resulted in a ban from the Bank Junction. But we now have the proof that there have been no accidents at the junction of London Bridge and Tooley Street, involving vehicles other than Cycles and Motorcycles.

Support from an unlikely source. 
Andrew Boff asks London Maror Sadiq Khan a question, on behalf of the Taxi Trades right of passage along Tooley Street's bus lane and access from London Bridge. 


DEMOCRACY LOST.
TfL don't own the roads, we do. They just (mis)manage them.
When massive upheavals like CSH's, Torrington Place, Judd Street, Tottenham Court Road, Bank Junction, Tooley Street, etc are proposed, the consultations should go out to London Rate Payers only, and not cycle clubs in Devon and Cornwall.
The lose of bus lane access is one of the biggest threats to the trade ever. We are hearing that certain PH companies are intent of providing minibus pool services which could use bus lanes in the same fashion as tour buses and coaches.


This is a fight we must win.
There will be no more waiting and seeing.  
Some say @ProactiveITA is now the go to face of the Taxi industry with 4K plus drivers they can call upon for direct action.
Driver numbers are growing daily, and between them, created a huge show of force at London Bridge with a week long protest. 
This is true driver representation and the clear message is that the LTDA are no longer relevant.
       

There were both RMT and LCDC reps on the bridge, there as cab drivers, but no doubt would’ve helped any of their members if a problem had arisen.
We are all cab drivers at the end of the day .... this is where many in the trade have a problem with our largest org where must of their COM haven’t actually driven a Taxi for many years and are alleged to be out of touch.
Show your support for your colleagues and come along to the Bank Junction protests, all next week, 4-7pm.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
Listen to the report from "The Bridge" by our man at the scene, Mick Smith, on London Taxi Radio. Click link below


Every Taxi that attends the protests will be awarded a Blue Dot badge. Make sure you get yours. Only one way to get one, turn up at the protest.



Trade unity is needed more now than ever before....if the orgs won't unite behind the driver led action, we have to drop them and fight on without them.