Friday, May 31, 2019

Star Letter Of The Week From A London Taxi Driver Of 20 Years Service.


I want to be able to afford a new taxi, that at some point in the future, I could own , without monthly payments. A taxi that doesn’t cost thousands to service and put right on a weekly basis. A taxi that doesn’t break you mentally and financially.

I want to drive around town, picking up street hails, without the worry of whether there is going to be space to nick on a station rank. Without the daily hassle of over ranking, and cameras, watching every move. 

I want to not have to work 60+hours a week, just to turn a living. Maybe do that extra job at the end of the shift that used to exist, but might now take an hour to get.

I want to be able to plan for the future, maybe a nice family holiday, in the school holidays. Maybe a move to a bigger house or somewhere nicer.

I don’t want to be handed jobs via an app, because that’s how it’s done these days...are we all happy for others to take a cut of the action. 
Who agreed to that?

I don’t want to be forced to take credit cards, when the person in the back is trying to scam you ( not my card, it’s your machine mate).

Over the last 20yrs, all the good aspects of the job have long gone. Never to return.

The London taxi driver is no longer wanted by many. 
A thing of the past. 
How dare a working man or woman control their own business, make a few quid. 
Have an extra day off.

The taxi trade has lost so much. 
Where Buses Go, Taxi Go isn't going to get any of this back, but they could help us keep the road space we need to do our job.....if this is lost, then all is lost. 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice editing, but other than that cheers.

Anonymous said...

Great post, my thoughts exactly, thats why i"ve slung it in, to many hoops to jump through, card machines were the final straw, scammers delight, and city boys in suits the worst, to much stress, to many hours, to much paying out for a taxi you wont be able to use in 12 years, to many with their hand in your pocket, and no money left in it at the end of the day!

Billy Friar said...

No one is owed a living.Technology has affected so many industries. How many banks are dominating the corners of the high street? Remember KODAK(gone).Travel agents (gone or dying). High street Insurance brokers (gone). Record shops, CDs (gone or going).Lots more going, going gone. Cashless society soon. Can't stop the fact everyone has the knowledge for free on their phones in the form of Google maps and other apps. Always shook my head in disbelief when cab drivers praised the very technology that is causing our demise. We can reminisce about the good past, but it has gone forever. Be lucky and look out for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately your views are those of past times the so called good old days, Alf Garnet,Love thy neighbour Thank god we’ve moved on things change life changes we all need to move on live in the modern world adapt to change.

Anonymous said...

Billy Friar,
You are correct in pointing out technology changes, and that no one is owed a living. Many thousands are working in lesser jobs than previously held. However, when the competitors that are obliterating your market place are actively breaking the law, it’s a bit hard to not get annoyed. We are told that whilst in control of a vehicle, you are not allowed to interact with a mobile phone. So, Uber and Lyfts business model is based on illegality. From attracting and accepting bookings, navigating the route, calculating distance and fare, and payment. All of this from the mobile phone. But of course if it suits an agenda, then fair play is of no consequence. Laws can be broken (some would say relaxed) so the public can get what it wants eh? Or the Government and friends?

To anon 12:24
Some of my views are most definitely of past times. Lazy stereotyping is also a thing of the past to. The modern world and continuous change is something we all adapt to. You cannot adapt though, when the price of change becomes exorbitantly expensive and damaging. The cab trade hasn’t got a long term hope. And we know that. After all it’s us out there, watching Uber pick up our previous work, swiping away on their phones. I’ve had a good run at it. Better than most, looking at badge numbers. Just remember though, the gig economy workers are transient, less committed, less bothered, maybe more accepting and grateful. Why? Because they didn’t have to earn it.

Anonymous said...

Get out, re train as something else. Its not impossible and no job is future proof anymore. Worst thing i ever done was the KOL, but i drew a line under it got out after 12 years and changed jobs. No regret

Anonymous said...

Honestly, what a bunch of absolute pessimistic ‘roll over & die’ posters on here! So technology (that is always evolving anyway) comes onto the scene & everbody has to run around like headless chickens & throwing in the towel. Well did doctors, dentists, engineers, pilots, opticians, etc,etc,etc, all roll over when technology changed their jobs? No, like f*** they did & probably because they had invested so much time & effort attaining that position. So does that remind you of any other occupation, that people invested a great deal of effort & time in attaining a qualification? Yes, that’s right, it’s The Licensed London Taxi Driver, who can’t now remember the time & effort they invested in all weathers to get that qualification & wouldn’t give up - but will roll over now! The point I’m making is that it’s NOT the technology but the laws surrounding it & being let down by the authorities. Basically, they are allowing people to use technology without a modicum of the safety & testing aspects associated to the Knowledge & vehicle. It’s akin to letting a doctors receptionist use laser surgery to correct an eye defect or a nurse to use a da Vinci surgical robot to do Prostate Surgery. It’s probably possible & might be possible & cheaper. HOWEVER, here’s the difference; the authorities would NEVER, EVER allow it! And one of the main reasons is that the public would also be very scared of using minor medical staff ..... BECAUSE THEY ARE WELL INFORMED OF THE DANGERS BY THE AUTHORITIES BUT THE SAME AUTHORITIES WON’T INFORM THE PUBLIC THAT USING CERTAIN APPS IS ALSO LIFE THREATENING! That is the problem & danger/threat & not technology alone. They are the cause of the London taxi problems via their inept & lackadaisical attitude to this situation. This aided & abetted by the attitude of drivers (such as many commenting on this article) is the root of all the problems. Think about it; if you were wishing to eliminate an opponent & realised the opponent would not fight, then quite rightly you wouldn’t believe your luck. So basically, all of you “roll over & die merchants” MAN UP & GO DOWN FIGHTING, INSTEAD OF ACTING LIKE A FLOTILLA OF JELLYFISH. Honestly, I’ve seen more fight in a legless spider than some of those making comments on here!!! Be lucky & don’t give up - you never know it could result in a victory but no fight & it’ll definitely end in defeat!

Anonymous said...

To anon 2: 17 AM
100,000 cut price doctors, haven’t lessened the pay packet of current doctors. The price of investing in the taxi trade has doubled in ten years, with its workable shelf life ever decreasing.
Any meaningful protest involves, glueing up, or stopping vehicles entering the pay zone. The police would be told to immediately enforce dispersal or arrest any driver, therefore rendering it pointless for the driver who has now just lost he’s license.
There have been many legal challenges that either have failed, or been brushed aside by the courts and legal system. Imagine losing every court battle, even the only victory the cab trade had, was immediately ignored by Uber letting TfL what they were going to do. And abiding by the judgement against them wasn’t happening.
No fares, no money, no viable business. Fighting talk doesn’t pay the bills. The public deserve to lose the licences taxi trade. Good luck to them eh.
I’m off to become a half price doctor/engineer/pilot/optician etc, etc.

Billy Friar said...

2:17 You can read anything you like into any situation. My situation is in the good old days it took the one night to cover my overheads and the rest of the weeks earnings was mine.Today it takes me three or four days to cover my overheads. Today I have to target and plan to try find a fare. In the good old days I drove into London and cleaned up whenever and wherever. Do you think if push came to shove the government would legislate in our favour as regards to the use of phone apps, no chance. It takes around four years to train one of us, yet private hire requires someone with a driving licence which just about every adult possess. Even my girlfriend who has no directional sense successfully follows a Sat Nav. Your and my knowledge covers the six miles radius of London from Charring Cross, the Sat Nav in my cab covers all of Britain and Western Europe. You compere professions that technology has enhanced but not eliminated personal knowledge like doctors. Our profession is to take a passenger from point A to point B. Today private hire can also do that following a Sat Nav at a far cheaper price than we do it for. Sensible people always consider price and value for money. A huge advantage private hire have over us is numbers. We live in a city of eight million people plus a leading world city of tourism. Customers won't wait for us to arrive while there is a cheaper private hire available to call by pressing an app on a smart phone.

Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me how many cab drivers use analogies comparing cab drivers to professionals with medical degrees.
Like it or lump it the cash has all but gone - we are a service industry to the public and they want a service; the cab trades radio circuits have led the way in denying the public of a service:

Exorbitant run-ins


Exorbitant credit card processing fees.

Failure to embrace inovation to satisfy customers needs.

Greed is the major contributing factor that has led to the demise of the London Taxi Industry.

Weak trade representation, boot lickers and TfL collaborators are another factor!

Before this trade can move forward in any way ALL of the trash must be cleaned from within the house - Anyone with previous MUST GO.

GET RID!

Anonymous said...

To Anon(s) 7.21, 4.11, 1.45: I cannot disagree with your sentiments as a whole. However, I am merely stating that all of this is due to the ineptitude of the authorities that should’ve put safeguards in place. They don’t & won’t stand for it in France - particularly, Paris - so why should London!!!

Hugh Bar said...

Ask the countless people ordering a private hire on their smart phones why they let you drive past without hailing you and I believe their answer will almost certainly be " I can get home cheaper than what you would cost." To most people out there they don't give a toss about how many years "knowledge" you've done, it's about the cheapest ride home.

Anonymous said...

Hugh Bar: Hallelujah, for pointing out the main motivator for using the opposition is price & most are already aware of that. Although, the situation is that the authorities, have made the costs associated to the licensed taxi trade, unbearably restrictive. Therefore, this is where the fault lies & take away many of the ridiculous charges & this trade could probably charge 30% less & still make the same net profit!
The trade is basically hamstrung by inept leadership & governance that is making It uncompetitive. Give the opposition a taste of the expenses experienced ( & without the subsidies it enjoys from their ponzi scheme adherents) & they would wilt like a rose starved of water. That’s the crux of it all & the knowledge (whatever people may say it’s still a valuable attribute) aligned to cheaper overheads, would wipe the floor with the opposition - particularly, once their subsidies end, as they surely will!