Saturday, December 15, 2018

Top German Court Rules Uber Limousine Service Illegal 🤔

    Uber's Limo drivers, outside the Federal Court of Justice

KARLSRUHE, Germany (Reuters) - Germany’s highest court ruled on Thursday that a limousine service offered by Uber [UBER.UL] was illegal. It's a setback for the U.S. ride-hailing company, that has struggled to comply with the law in Europe’s largest economy.

The Federal Court of Justice, handing down a final decision, upheld lower-court rulings in favor of a complaint brought by a Berlin taxi business that the so-called Uber Black service had violated German laws governing car rentals. 

Responding to the judgment, Uber said it had taken Uber Black out of service in 2014, adding that the services it now operates in four German cities complied with the law. 

“This ruling has no impact on our current services in Germany as we changed our operating model more than four years ago,” the company said in a statement. 

“We will continue to engage with local stakeholders as we develop services that address Germany’s growing transportation needs and shape the future of urban mobility in a responsible way.” 

Uber, which could fetch a valuation of $120 billion when it floats next year in what would be the biggest stock market listing by a tech startup, has had a series of run-ins with regulators, courts and drivers around the world. 

In Britain, the company has fought a long-running court battle over whether its drivers should be given workers’ rights, including a minimum wage. The company argues that drivers are self-employed. 

In the German case, two lower courts had banned the Uber Black service based on the complaint brought by a Berlin taxi operator, Richard Leipold. 

He had argued that its operations should be covered by laws covering car rentals. These require a car to return to its base after each trip and for trips to be awarded by a dispatcher. 

Taxis, by contrast, can accept orders directly. 

Uber now offers its services in four German cities - Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Duesseldorf - and says it is in full compliance with German laws. 

Its Uber X service operates in partnership with car rental companies whose drivers hold a license to carry passengers, a company spokesman said. Its UberTaxi service functions as a regular taxi service. 

Establishing an important principle, the Federal Court found that Uber was subject to German transportation laws, dismissing arguments that European Union rules governing the provision of services should apply.

Lisson Grove Muggings Escalate : Police Have The Tools, So When Are They Going To Use Them? by Tony Casey

  Lisson Grove muggers, recently spotted in Berkeley Square 

The instances of muggings on Taxi drivers is increasing at an alarming rate...worst still, they are becoming more and more violent. 

The police keep saying we need more drivers to report these crimes. 

So I have been doing just that. 

I have also written again to my own local MP, Frank Manning. 

Hello Frank 
Thanks for your continued concern for the London Taxi community.
Despite my very best efforts since Sept 2018 and 4 alleged arrests by warrant recently,I have to report that this week the mugging Gangs are out of control...

Two nights ago at 9.30 attempted robbery of Taxi drivers in Rossmore road NW8 junction with Park Road near the Flower Shop.How many were succesful i'm not sure.

Today at Harrow Road W2 eastbound from Sandell and Perkins roundabout toward THE NOW CLOSED Paddington Green Police Station. The Robbers could be the same ones who robbed 78 year old George Vyse who may live on the neighbouring social Housing Estate.

Around a month ago I reported robbery activity opposite todays crime on the westbound carriageway of Harrow Road on the over side of the flyover, the taxi feeder line that feeds Paddington Station just before the roundabout of Bishops Bridge Road. This area may be covered by lady wpc Sgt O'Brien and her policing team.
What ever is going on in the Policing circles is embarrissingly POOR.
Drivers are asking me daily what is happening and I am ashamed to report VERY LITTLE.
Perhaps its time to take the matters into our own hands.
Could you please let Andrew Know.
Thanks and regards 
Anthony Casey LCDC. 

I have been working alongside the neighbourhood police teams and local MP’s for the Maida Vale and Harrow Road areas for some time, yet it is now even worse than ever.

Recently four muggers were arrested at their homes and their premises searched. Unfortunately for us, they are now back out on the street and are continuing to rob unsuspecting drivers. 

Perhaps they believe we are all holding bundles of cash because of the christmas period.

The muggings have now become increasingly violent and our biggest fear is that a driver could eventually be seriously injured or even killed. 

London Taxi Radio Interview with mugging victim Laurence.



They have the intel, they have the when are hey going to use them?

During our recent show of strength of feeling towards TfL’s recent consultation about the closure of tooley street, Met police sent out two licensed taxi's complete with ID cards containing undercover police officers who mingling with the Taxi protesters, using hidden body cameras to try to identify the ring leaders.

The met police have currently 3 Taxis in their under covet fleet fully plated etc.

Why have'nt these vehicles been deployed around Lisson grove and Harrow Road?

Perhaps they are still awaiting a response on a risk assessment.

TfL’s enforcement officers have been using a vauxhall zafira with minicab indentifiers complete with blues and two's and ANPR cameras.

The police have no excuses to solving violent crime ,they have the tools, vehicles to get the job done, but appear to be holding back. 

Mayor Sadiq Khan needs to divert money away from the vanity fountain fund and cycle super highways to fight crime and prevent further violence towards Cabbies which could eventually resort in murder.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Uber, Lyft and their like are the least of our worries at the moment

Uber, Lyft and their like are the least of our worries at the moment. 

We now have apps coming along that are allowing Hackney Carriage drivers from outside London to pick up on their platform. 

They say this is legal as TfL class all app jobs as ore bookings. 

How has this been allowed to happen ???

Firstly our largest org, the only one that TfL is willing to listen to, is asleep on this type of issue in case it interferes with their advertising revenue 

Secondly, to all the drivers who thought Chris Johnson’s campaign wasn’t worth supporting... it’s your fault that this is happening. 

And it’s not over yet, it’s about to get so much worse.

You may be doing alright on your app work, but you will soon be competing with Taxi drivers from all over the Home Counties.

The power to stop this happening is in your hands....the orgs aren't going to do it for you, so that just leaves you!

Out of the many thousands of drivers currently on a Taxi type app in central London, just over 300 have actually made a donation to secure their future. Many (over half these drivers) have made a second and subsequent further donation. 

16 days left to go with just £2980 to raise!

Don't wait to see if someone else is going to save your trade, this is something YOU need to do for yourself.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : by Chris Johnson

We all know that Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi recently met with Chris Grayling. After obtaining FOI requests, we now know what they spoke about. 

We know Dara spoke about Uber pool express (minibuses) - to use in bus lanes?

But Dara akdonspoke about integrating taxis into the Uber App. 

This is the same reason MyTaxi won't confirm whether we are plying on the app or not because this is the strategy for all apps - they call it fully intergrated platforms. 

Now please try to understand that these orgs and unions are actively working against driver by not supporting the employment tribunal case against MyTaxi - Daimler own MyTaxi, Blacklane (PH), ViaVan (PH), Hopp was Taxify (PH). 

He also goes on to talk about homogenised regulations 
*this is a 1 tier system* 
again this is why MyTaxi won't defined that they are a plying app, all of these app companies want this homogenisation.



Dara Khosrowshahi met with Chris Grayling of #DfT.

Dara said he'd accept the Congestion Charge, but refused to allow a cap on minicab numbers.

He also told Grayling about the new Uber Pool Express minibuses which can use bus lanes!

REMEMBER THIS WARNING?...Look at the date!

So those of you who agreed with Macca to 'do nothing' and 'wait and see', how do you feel now?

Want to go through Bank Junction? Up Tottenham Court Road? Along Tooley Street? You can't!

Only buses, cycles and Uber Pool Express!

Feel betrayed?

It looks like the TfL and DfT plan could be:






Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Uber Looking To Integrate London Bus And Tube Data Into Its App

Uber looking to integrate London bus and Tube data into its app after Dara’s visit with on-side Mike!

Uber has spoken with London’s transport authority about "deepening" their relationship, as the ride-hailing app seeks to strike partnerships with public transportation providers

This from the FT:

Uber has spoken with London’s transport authority about "deepening" their relationship, as the ride-hailing app seeks to strike partnerships with public transportation providers.

The company is attempting to integrate Transport for London’s data about bus and Tube timetables into its app, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would put it into direct competition with venture capital-backed start-up Citymapper.

Although TfL has a publicly available interface for accessing the data, Uber is seeking to build services on top of that, such as live updates. Three people said Uber had a long-term ambition to build a full journey planner and accept payments on behalf of public transport authorities such as TfL.

TfL said it was "not actively doing anything to help" Uber integrate data.

A spokesperson added: "We’re not in discussions with Uber or anyone else about taking payments for our services through their apps, and not looking to do so in the future."

Uber declined to comment.

TfL has tried to incorporate new mobility services, such as bike-sharing and ride-hailing, into London’s transport system. But it has been wary about integrating with private companies in any move that could lead to greater competition for public transport.

Uber has had a fraught relationship with TfL in the past after facing a public battle over its licence to operate in London. The licence was revoked after TfL found Uber was not a "fit and proper" operator, but the company won it back after announcing a series of concessions to the regulator.

Since its victory in court this summer, Uber has retrained its sights on London as a test bed for its new vision to build a marketplace for bikes, scooters and other forms of transport. Uber is expected to launch electric bikes in the capital by early 2020.

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, has suggested public transport is the company’s next frontier in passenger transport. Uber has already run trials to integrate its app with public transport information in San Francisco through the Bay Area Rapid Transit system and announced a partnership with Masabi, an app that provides mobile ticketing for public transport.

One senior UK-based executive said Uber’s ambition was to become an alternative to Google Maps or Apple Maps for someone planning a journey. The service would resemble one run by Citymapper, which operates in several US and European cities, including London, Berlin and Paris.

Michael Hurwitz, director of innovation at Transport for London, told the Financial Times earlier this year that TfL was ambivalent about fitting private services into a comprehensive transport app, saying: "It’s about getting our own house in order, better integrated, and when and under what commercial circumstances you might open that out."

BREAKING NEWS : Confirmed At Yesterday’s TOPS Meeting First ZEC Only Rank Coming Early New Year

It is now official......and in the concept of the term 'dived and conquer', TfL are to use the new LEVC TXe to split the trade further, (with a little help from their on-side friend).

While 'Project Horizon' looked to destroy the two tier system, integrating both services of the Taxi and private hire trades into one, it now appears that TfL have suddenly swerved 180° and are now bent on introducing a new tier into the Taxi trade itself, to divide the drivers even further. 

At an all trade TOPS meeting yesterday, it was announced by TfL, that there are to be certain rewards for "Green Pioneers" who have made the investment in LEVC's TXe. 
This will come in the shape of eTaxi only ranks and bus lanes, with unique access to certain areas around central London and parts of the CoL. 

Unsurprisngly, this subjec was bought up at the end of the meeting, so there was no discussion on the issue....although we can probably guess at the LTDA's opinion being different from the rest of the trades. 

After recent events, followed by damaging emails and statements from a major trade representative org, TfL totally believe that now is the right time to unveil these measures as there will be little to no resistance from within the body of the trade. TfLTPH's perception of Taxi Drivers, is that we are extremely badly led with the fight kicked out of the general rank and file driver.

According to slides shown at yesterday's meeting, the new eTaxi only ranks will start to appear in the new year.


So TfL preciseve the majority of the trade as deeply divided, having no stomach for a fight and extremely badly led.

Before TFL's special friend starts slinging accusations about fake news stories on a certain online website, let us point out that the images above came directly from  the TOPS meeting....and the ones below, originated from the DfT. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

High Court Quashes Wakefield Taxi Fees

The High Court has quashed the licensing fees charged for private hire vehicle and Hackney carriage licences set by Wakefield City Council, following a claim for judicial review by the Wakefield District Private Hire and Hackney Association.
His Honour Judge Saffman, sitting as a deputy judge of the High Court, held that the fees charged by Wakefield were unlawful. In particular, the Council had wrongly interpreted section 70 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and had erroneously charged the costs of enforcement against drivers (for speeding, bad parking, dressing inappropriately and a miscellany of uncivil or illegal conduct) to the control and supervision of vehicles. Wakefield’s case had been that the costs were properly accounted for against vehicles because the errant drivers were driving vehicles. The learned judge described that as ‘stretching beyond breaking point’ the language of the section.
The case is of wider importance as it dispels any suggestion that there is a general principle of law that licensing regimes should be self-financing. The judge made it clear that a local authority’s entitlement to recover from the licence fee the costs of administering a licensing regime is governed by the words of the empowering statute. Where Parliament has awarded local authorities a broad discretion (e.g. “such fee as they think reasonable”) the courts have upheld policies of full cost recovery on the sole ground that the policies, being reasonable, are intra vires; but where, as in s 70 LGMPA 1976, the power to charge a fee is circumscribed by reference to specific heads of recovery, recovery is restricted to those specified heads. Licensing authorities are creatures of statute, and have no powers beyond those which statute has given them.
In the course of the High Court action it became apparent that Wakefield Council has overcharged private hire vehicle licence fees by an aggregate sum in excess of £1million, which will form the subject of a claim for restitution.
Gerald Gouriet QC and Charles Streeten acted for the successful claimant, with the assistance of A2Z licensing


As the article states, the greater legal significance of the judgment was to recognise that there is no general principle of law that requires licensing regimes to be self-financing, but for members of the Wakefield trade, it might be the prospect of being able to bring a restitution claim for in excess of £1 million that was the most significant thing to come out of the case, which was heard by the High Court in Leeds last Wednesday (5 December 2018).

For the sake of completeness, I should advise that the Council was refused permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, but does, of course, have 21 days in which to renew its application directly to the Court of Appeal.

David B Wilson
a2z Licensing 

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Breaking News : Uber, In A Race With Lyft, Has Confidentially Filed To Go Public In 2019.


* Uber has confidentially filed paperwork to hold its long-awaited IPO next year, reports the Wall Street Journal.
* This comes a day after word got out that Lyft, the company's perennial rival in car-hailing services, made its own IPO filing.
* Uber was last privately valued at $76 billion, and the Journal reports that it could go public with a market cap of $120 billion.

Uber has confidentially filed an S-1 document in preparation to hold its long-awaited IPO, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Uber has previously been valued privately at as much as $76 billion, and its advisers reportedly say it may go public with a market cap of as much as $120 billion. According to the Journal, Uber might go public "as soon as the first quarter." Internally, Uber is referring to the IPO planning process as "Project Liberty."

A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment.
The report comes one day after Uber's arch-rival, Lyft, announced that it had filed its initial paperwork to go public, and the two are now racing to be the first to float on the public markets in 2019.

The Uber IPO has been long-awaited, as investors and employees await liquidity, after the company raised $24.2 billion in debt and equity funding since its founding in 2009. Uber investors include Toyota, Softbank, Microsoft, Jeff Bezos, Jay Z, Morgan Stanley, and Axel Springer (the parent company of Business Insider), though some may have already sold their stakes through various share sales along the way.

Uber lost nearly $1 billion in the third quarter of 2018, according to its self-reported financial results, while it saw quarterly revenue of $2.95 billion. Recently, Uber has expanded into new lines of business beyond its flagship car-hailing service, including bikes and scooters, even as it invests in its Uber Eats food delivery business.

In August, Uber hired former Merrill Lynch CFO Nelson Chai as its new CFO, as it geared up to go public. The move comes as Uber attempts to move on from successive scandals throughout 2017, which culminated in the ousting of founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, who was replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi, formerly the chief executive of Expedia.

2019 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year for tech IPOs. As well as Uber and Lyft, work messaging app Slack also plans to go public next year, among others.

Source : Business Insider.