Surprise, Surprise....ViaVan, the joint-venture between Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans in Europe, has been granted a new 3-year Private Hire Vehicle Operator's license to continue to operate so called 'on-demand shared transport' in London by Transport for London, using vehicles that the London Taxi Trade have been banned from using...euro 6 Diesel engine Mercedes Vitos and Vaneos, now lumped together and called V-class .
Keith Prince asked the Mayor why black cabs can't licence euro 6 Mercedes Vito vans anymore, but his new shuttle bus pilot schemes can.
It's one rule for everybody else and draconian rules for the black cab trade under Sadiq Khan.
ViVan launched in April 2018 and said it has provided more than 7 million rides in London and saved 3 million vehicle kilometers by pooling multiple passengers into shared vehicles, resulting in more than 600,000 kilograms of CO2 saved.
Keith Prince AM also asked Mike Brown why Transport for London won't let the cab trade use Euro 6 Mercedes Vito vehicles when new on-demand buses can. It's one rule for the black cabs, another for everyone else
ViaVan said that by using technology from U.S. provider Via, ViaVan has proven to be a strong solution for public transport operators and partners, not only in London with TfL but across the UK in both rural and urban areas.
Chris Snyder, ViaVan CEO said, ‘We are proud to receive the renewal of our license in London.
We believe that ViaVan’s focus on smart, shared mobility is part of the solution to achieving the Mayor’s goal of 80% journeys by public transport, walking or biking by 2041.’
So ViaVan who recently were in trouble for there advert on TfL stations showing a ViaVan driver breaking the law, picking up passengers on a zebra crossing (advert was banned by TfL but can still be seen on stations and tube trains) are now considered to be part of the Mayor’s Public Transport?
Snyder went in to say, ‘To actually get Londoners out of private vehicles and on-board with the city’s goals, it’s necessary to provide a technology-driven solution that combines the efficiency, comfort and convenience of a personal vehicle with the affordability and traffic-reducing benefits of public transport’.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
ViaVan recently hit the headlines with its adverts on the TfL transport system. The advert showed a group of passengers, boarding a Mercedes side loader Private Hire vehicle, that was stopped on a zebra crossing.
Also at the bottom of the advert, was the claim London's smartest and greenest rides......as the company use Diesel engines and not electric powered vehicles, this statement is false.
Taxi leaks complained to both the advertising standards agency and TfL and neither replied. So we asked the LCDC to put in a complaint on our behalf, this they did.
TfL came back with a statement saying that no action would be taken against ViaVan as the contract for the adverts was to run out shortly. But unlike young ladies in swimsuits that appeared to offend Mayor Khan, you can still find the ViaVan advert on certain rude trains and stations across the TfL network.
Another advert that was (supposed to be banned, the one TfL actually apologised for, showing an unsavoury character with the words 'When you recognise your blind date from the news, get out of here Kapten', can also still be seen on TfL tube trains.
It would appear that only adverts showing offensive food, or beautiful young ladies are removed immediately by TfL working on behalf of the Mayor.....but offensive, lying adverts from foreign minicab operators may only be removed eventually, when TfL get round to it.....which could be some time in the future.....or not perhaps.