Saturday, June 08, 2019

Have MyTaxi Made The Same Mistake As Hailo? ... How Will Drivers React? Have They Lost The Will To Fight A Merger With Private Hire???

PHV as a supplement to the existing taxi business

Together with cooperating taxi entrepreneurs, FREE NOW will also launch its own fleet of Private Hire Vehicles (PHV). 

The aim is to further expand its strong market position, develop additional customer groups and offer customers an attractive mobility alternative with high quality, transparency and at a fair price.
With the new offer, not only passengers but above all drivers will be taken into the next evolutionary stage of urban mobility. 

Alexander Mönch, General Manager at mytaxi: 
"Our drivers are the most important partners and the taxi remains an important part of our DNA. However, we have to expand our offering in the fast-moving and complex mobility industry and remain competitive. We want to open up new customer and target groups for all services. With FREE NOW, the cake will become much bigger, so that everyone will benefit from it in the end".
Taxi and Rental Industry: Fair Competition and Equal Rules

The entry into the PHV business is an important, strategic step for mytaxi: "As a company with European roots, we do not want to leave the market to competitors from other continents. We continue to plead for the merging of taxis and rental cars in a reformed joint business with the same rules and fair competitive conditions," adds Mönch.

According to Mönch, there is also great demand: "Various entrepreneurs with whom we work have already approached us and are asking for alternative ways of repositioning themselves. Many of them have both car and taxi licences and want to cooperate with us in both areas".

Furthermore, the classic taxi industry remains an important partner: "It will remain a very important issue for us to continue modernizing the taxi industry in order to keep it competitive in the future.

Source : Statement from Daimler Financial Services: 

Taxi Leaks Extra Bit:
To be honest, it was always on the cards, after Gett"s PHV Porsche's were allowed by TfL to operate from within their Taxi app with no reaction from their drivers....MyTaxi's parent company Daimler, have already launched 2 private hire companies, one (ViaVan) currently trialling on demand diesel Vito minibuses in South West London, that will be allowed by TfL to use all bus lanes....Not only this, Daimler owned Kapten is about to flood the market with extremely cheap, subsidised private hire in a bid to take over from Uber....and yet, not a murmur from the Taxi trade.

Trade publications will keep on taking the 30 pieces of silver for adverts in their papers and drivers will carry on using the apps that have bought about the destruction of our street work.
I'm still amazed the customers will leave Hakassan and Novikov....stand in the rain and wait to be picked up by Gett/MyTaxi, while there are lines of Taxis showing orange lights, just outside the door. 

But it's no surprise, as again the trade will be buying the noose that will eventually hang us all.

Friday, June 07, 2019


Have you wonder why, the Proactive ITA are still protesting in Parliament Square after 18 weeks, with their "WhereBusesGoTaxisGo" campaign ?

Listen to this audio, recorded at the TfL Every Journey Matters seminar from Northampton Square on the 06/06/2019.

Surely thinking your time is just to precious, can't still be an option???..that is if you want to work as a taxi driver in the future ....

Be part of the proactive drivers, fighting for the future of our trade!
Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Be in Parliament Square next Wednesday... 1pm-4pm 
Surely that's not too much to give up .

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Another Successful ITA Protest, Numbers Up Again On Last Week. Tory Leader Hopeful Rory Stuart Came Out To Show Support For The ITA Campaign.

The ITA protest got off to a slow start today, because a group of wonderful ladies had taken over the Square, demonstrating against the governments policy of extending the age limit for pensions. 

They laid down in the road in front of the gates to the commons and when asked by the police to move, they were adamant they were staying put. 
I spoke to their organiser and asked politely if they could let the Taxis enter the square and explained what we were protesting for. 

The trouble for us was the fact that private traffic was caught up and Taxis were finding it difficult to enter the square. Which was a shame as I had got there early and spoke to the inspector in charge at the briefing and he assured me that there would be no problem with cabs gaining access. 

After about half an hour, the ladies got up and decided to march around the Square, allowing Taxis full access.

So although a little later than planned, again we managed to fill Whitehall, Bridge Street, Broad Sanctuary, Great George Street and the Square itself.

A number of volunteer Cabbies broke ranks to help out with disabled passengers, and all returned to the protest after giving their services free of charge. 
It's drivers like these that make me feel proud to be a London Cabby, well done ladies and gents. 

Sean Paul Day turned up with a film crew....more about the later. 
We also spoke to a BBC news unit, who had come from BBC Northern Ireland office, to film the Ladies protest about their pensions.
We spoke about our disappointment that the BBC London news had ignored our protests over the last 18 weeks. 

Also in the Square today was Tory Leadership hopeful Rory Steward, who spoke with quite a few drivers. He was outraged when told that Sadiq Khan had refused to meet with Lord Palmer's group of Peers to discuss our campaign "Where Buses Go, Taxis Go".

CLOSED SHOP? Heathrow To Ban New Cab Drivers, With Restrictions On Tag Availability.

Heathrow Taxi Management have issued this statement:
(Just who are the Heathrow Taxi Management???)
Due to the over supply of Taxis compared with the demand, it has been necessary to implement a one out, one in policy. 

This means that new drivers will only be able to join the Heathrow feeder Park system and receive a Tag and booster, when an existing driver closes their account. 

All drivers who register their interest in joining the system will be added to a waiting list. Details will be taken and you will be contacted when it is your turn to receive a Tag. 

Please provide your mo lie number and your email address to allow us the best possible opportunity of contacting you.

Please not that when a place becomes available, we will contact you and you will have 24 hours before we move on to the next driver on the list. 

Taxi Leaks Extra bit :
Taxi leaks predicted this in 2010....under the banner of Project Horizon....restrictions of trade would be introduced on the trade and certain closed shops would appear around the capital. 

At that time we said it would be kicked off by TfL and the first targets would be permits for mainline rail.
Here we go again, it's now up to the rank and file drivers to fight this.
But do they have the stomach for a fight???

Why should new drivers be barred from the facility of working the Airport, in the way drivers have worked there for over half a century. 

What will come next???.....
• Will they withdraw tags from drivers who don't work there often enough?
• Will there be a surcharge put on tags to cover administration of this scheme?
• Will so called Taxi managers be jumping the queues?
• Who exactly are he faces behind this scheme
(Watch this space for updates)

Allegedly, this scheme has been put together by Union and trade org reps looking to enforce a closed shop under the banner "we can't wait up to four hours for a job". 
If you can't do the time, it's simple....don't put on!

What next???....join our org or Union and we will get you your tag???

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Uber Examined by IRS, Foreign Authorities for Tax Charges

Could this effect their TfL London license renewal, under the fit and proper regulations?

Uber Technologies Inc. is under investigation from U.S. tax authorities, plus there are potential tax charges in a number of key markets which could seriously affect Uber’s business model. 

Uber Technologies Inc. is being examined by U.S. tax authorities and said that its potential tax charges in a number of key markets could change.

The recently-listed ride-hailing company said in its S-1 disclosure in April, and repeated in its 10-Q filing Tuesday, that the IRS is examining the tax years for 2013 and 2014. Uber also added that it is under examination by other state and foreign tax authorities, and that its tax benefits are to be cut due to the company’s "transfer pricing positions."

Read more in the Bloomberge article below:

Air Safety Agencies Rush To Draw Up Rules For Flying Taxis

Aviation safety agencies around the world are rushing to draw up regulations for flying taxis, with a wave of companies promising to be ready to launch services within the next five to 10 years. 

In Europe, aviation regulator EASA said it was preparing a set of tests to ensure the safety of both the vehicles and the software that will run them. It said its approach to flying taxis, which is at an early stage, would cover operations and maintenance, the competence of operators, noise pollution, and making sure that the software used by the taxis is scrutinised “with the level of robustness needed”. 

“This new certification approach would allow EASA to understand how the software behaves in different circumstances,” it said.

In the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority has set up a virtual space where flying taxi companies can test their technology, while China’s regulator has authorised five companies to explore airworthiness standards and certification by the end of the year. 

The market for transporting humans around cities could be worth $674bn by 2040, according to a 2018 study by bank Morgan Stanley, and transport company Uber wants to launch an “Uber Air” aerial ride-sharing network by 2023.

There are more than 170 companies developing aircraft powered by electricity, consultancy Roland Berger found earlier this year, half of which are for urban air taxis.

Manufacturers say that the first air taxis will have human pilots, before they create artificial intelligence powerful and safe enough to fly the aircraft by itself.

The Civil Aviation Authority of China also recently issued draft guidelines that suggested China will develop regulatory standards and co-ordinate demonstrations of UAV by 2020, then build an actual aviation management system by 2035.

Regulators are also giving developers the ability to explore how their tech will work in cities.

In May, the UK’s CAA announced it had created a virtual “sandbox” for organisations to test their technology. Of the first six, one was innovation charity Nesta, which will explore the future of urban drone use in the UK; another was Volocopter, which is developing its own urban air taxis.

Another project in the CAA’s sandbox was from Altitude Angel, which is developing an unmanned traffic management system for automated drones, akin to air traffic control for aeroplanes.

Lilium launches city travel electric air taxi

The Morgan Stanley study envisaged the market starting as “an ultra-niche add-on” to established modes of transport, before becoming “a cost-effective, time-efficient method of travelling short to medium distances”.

Richard Aboulafia, analyst at the Teal Group in the US, said cost will be a key barrier, noting that the market for helicopter travel remains small. “This is not a question of regulation or technology. It’s a question of economics. Very few people can afford to use vertical flying technology on a regular basis,” he said. 

Companies from Airbus to Uber have announced plans for flying vehicles, or aircraft that can hop from one building to another, driven by breakthroughs in electric motors and battery power. 

The four-passenger CityAirbus electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft made its first tethered flight on May 3 in Germany. Uber does not want to build its own vehicles, but has recruited manufacturers including Bell, Boeing and Embraer to develop Uber Air. Embraer is in the early stages of developing its eVTOL through its subsidiaries EmbraerX and Atech.

Last July, the UK aero-engine group Rolls-Royce announced plans for an electric aircraft with rotating wings that could take off or land vertically, and which it thinks could be available by the early to mid-2020s.

Lilium, a Germany-based start-up, last month unveiled what it claimed was the world’s first all-electric, five-seater plane that it plans to use as a public air taxi service from as early as 2025.

The company is already in talks with EASA about certifying the plane. But a spokesman said the aircraft, which will be piloted and has a fixed wing, is designed in such a way that it could fly under existing certification that covers “light aircraft”.

“We would prefer not to do that and EASA are working on a specification specifically for our sector,” said the Lilium spokesman, adding that “whichever certification route we go down, it will be as rigorous as today’s large commercial aircraft”.

Elaine Whyte, UK drones lead at consultancy PwC and a former safety and airworthiness engineer in the Royal Air Force, said air taxis would need the same safety standards that a century of aviation had already established. “This is likely to be a significant barrier to entry and require different skill sets for those potential manufacturers new to this sector,” she said.

Anita Sengupta, co-founder of Los Angeles-based start-up Airspace Experience Technologies, which wants to popularise “private air mobility”, said: “Cyber security needs to be sorted in the air just as it does on land . . . Currently you would be cleared by air traffic control but in future you could imagine a different system” involving AI and machine learning.

Source FT 

Decommissioning Causing A Massive Shortage Of Taxi Rentals And A Totally Inadequate Licensing Authority

The 3,648 applications for decommissioning has caused a massive shortage of available Taxis to rent. Instead of having the affect of encouraging drivers to upgrade to electric vehicles, the offer has encouraged rental garages to reduce their fleets, by trading in their older stock for a one off cash bonus.  

Drivers with older vehicles have taken the decommissioning grant as a stopgap measure to pay off mounting depts, but haven’t really thought about a replacement and are now without a means of working as spare rental cabs have disappeared.

Another done deal?
Another ill thought out knee jerk reaction?
Why wasn’t the £10,000 ring-fenced and only granted as a deposit on a new cab? 

This is another mess from a Mayor and a Licensing authority that appear to be bent on destruction by stealth of the London Taxi Trade. 

New LEVC Taxi rentals have recently increased by as much as £20 a week, because there is now a waiting lists of drivers anxious to secure a rental deal. 

Every day, the total incompetent of TfL becomes more apparent. 
Inside Palestra is a whole floor of technology where the capital’s transport systems are controlled. They have the ability to change traffic light phasing with a tap on a keyboard, to speed up congestion....badly parked vehicles can be observed and dealt in minutes, using their network of CCTV cameras.  

But it’s obvious the staff in ‘centre comms’ are not up to the job, like most of the staff who work for TfL. 

But there is hope on the horizon and that is the fact that the United Trade Action Group are crowdfunding to bring these woefully inadequate   management to book. 

Some garage will now only rent out vehicles to new drivers with #UTAG direct debits. 
Ex Director of TfLTPH famously said "if you don’t like what we are doing, take us to court"...and that’s exactly what UTAG intend to do. 

The more drivers who support this action, the quicker when can bring ‘these people’, the ones who are bringing about the demise of our trade, before the court