Sunday, February 18, 2018

Uber Partner With Jump To Offer New Service Through Its App, Eyeing Up TFL's Boris Bike Market ???

Not satisfied with running London's Taxi and Private Hire trades into the ground, Uber now turning its attention on TFL's Bike hire service, with a small push from an electric motor..... on Uber's new bike-share business.

Uber have partnered with Jump Bikes in San Francisco to offer an electric-motor assisted ride to users (and pull in the bike commuters to conquer even more of the commuting market) --  

Sasha Lekach a reporter with Mashable in San Fransisco gave the Bike app a spin.

After signing up for the waitlist, I got access to the newest option on the Uber app: Uber Bike.

Instead of little cars scurrying around the screen I was bombarded with all the nearby bikes and each one's distance from me. I had plenty of options

I went with bike 0642 locked to a bike rack near the park bench where I was eating a sandwich. 

It was a good-enough looking bike, bright red with "JUMP" on the sloping frame. Someone had trashed a Snapple carton into its large basket, so I put that where it belonged and then followed the prompts through the app to unlock my bike. Pretty straight-forward stuff, there's even a slot to put the U-lock while you ride. 

My purse and camera bag fit in the basket just fine and the lock didn't take up any of my personal storage space.

I clicked on my helmet (you have to provide your own) and realized this bike with its electric motor to help you pedal was a lot heavier than your average bicycle. 

As I adjusted to the clunky, heavy frame I circled South Park for a few laps, adjusting the gears, and then headed back toward my office building nearby. 

With a friend, we rode up and down the street behind my building in San Francisco's SoMa neighbourhood.

It wasn't a carbon fiber racing bike, but it felt sturdy and stable. I also wasn't about to go off-roading or mountain biking with this, but on the pavement I could handle it and felt comfortable enough riding for a quick 20 minutes.

My friend who commutes into San Francisco from the Peninsula, south of the city, figures she could combine a bike ride with her train ride to get from the station to her downtown office instead of the 20-minute walk. Like many bike-share users, the bikes come in handy for the first or last mile of a commute -- not for the entire trip.

For someone like her who would use Uber Bike within its minimum 30-minute window before you start getting charged 7 cents per minute, she'd rack up two $2-rides a day. With tax, that's about $4.40 a day, about $20 each week. So it adds up even if the price sounds like pocket change at only $2 for 30 minutes.

Back on my ride I didn't make it very far in the end, but I found a rack right next to where I was. I attached the bike with the U-locked, ended the ride on the app, and immediately got a receipt. Since it was all through the Uber app it felt familiar. My first Uber Bike ride was a success.

Uber Bike is following the bike-sharing trend that has been growing in cities like San Francisco for years. Ford GoBike is a bike-share mainstay at this point with what seems like endless stations throughout the city and has electric bikes coming in April. 

New York has its Citi Bikes, but Jump brings in the seamless dock-less system that has gotten huge in other markets, like China. Except instead of locking to itself, the bikes lock to bike racks. The flexibility to lock and leave bikes anywhere makes other station-based bike-shares seem unwieldy and cumbersome —as long as people don't abuse the system.

Instead of sharing bikes with the masses, there's always the option to buy your own bicycle and commute to work on your own two wheels. But the electric-assist on Jump to help get up hills or speed up your ride is an alluring option that can be pricey to own outright. 

Take this electric balance bike (that's no pedals!) available to pre-order starting Wednesday. 

It's $3,467 for the 500-watt electric motor bicycle with a large wooden frame that goes for about 30 miles on a charge. Though, with no pedals, at what point is this no longer biking and just riding...

One aspect Sasha failed to explore was charging the bike when the battery goes flat. 

We know you have to provide your own headwear, and that the bikes are to be widely available, come with their very own Ulock, which fits away into the frame....and that the bike is dockless....although she does mention public bike racks....but she never once mentioned if these bike racks have charging points!!! 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

LCDC Rep To Hold Q&A Session With Suburban Drivers On Periscope 20/02/2018 At 16:00

On Tuesday the 20th of Feb 2018 at 1600 hours LCDC suburban rep Rob Cardwell @iamcabman, will be attempting a first for the London taxi trade! 

He’ll be holding a Q&A with Suburban drivers on Periscope #TalktotheLCDCsuburbanrep  where he will answer questions any suburban driver has about the LCDC.

Rob has worked tirelessly to try and highlight problems in the suburban sectors with his work on London Taxi Radio, also launching Sector Magazine the suburbs first ever magazine and his monthly article in the badge.

So please join rob this Tuesday 16:00 on Periscope for #TalktotheLCDCsuburnanrep

Have TfL Bent Over Backwards To Clear Name Of Uber In Knife Up Bottom Case ???

In the past we've seen London Taxi photos plastered all over the media when publishing stories about criminal issues that in fact relate to Private hire drivers/operators/ vehicles.

This image is on Daily Mail online site today

Some of the crimes are serious such as sexual assaults/rape and in more than one case, even murder.

Take last year when the majority of the press and TV news channels posted articles stating that Taxi and Private hire driver related sexual assaults, including rapes were up by 50%.
Not one paper mentioned the fact that their were zero allegations against Taxi drivers. 

The Gaurdian couldn't get the statistic right or the time frame

Lazy journalism? 
Or a planned, paid for agenda?

TfL/TfLTPH have never interfered with a press headline......up until now?

Not once have TfLTPH took it upon itself to get the paper(s) or TV media to publish a correction and show that the article was nothing to do with a Taxi driver or related trade member.

And yet in the case of Kareem Worthington, TfLTPH have just bent over backwards to clear the name of their stakeholder Uber. 

The police are now saying that only after the arrest, court case and imprisonment of Worthington, did they discover that he'd lied about being an Uber driver. 

He was arrested driving a PHV with TfL roundels and had the Uber driver app on a smart phone. 
Apparently they never checked to see if he was on the TfL PH data base till after he was jailed -A very simple operation that anyone with a smart phone can do in minutes. 

This new information was then past on to the newspaper who have now published a correction to their original story. 

Do you think this would have happened if he had been driving a TX4 ???

Let's look at the facts :
Officers only realised he was lying..............." after he was jailed ". 
Can you really believe this?
Police arrested, the CPS charged and the courts jailed him , before realising his proper identity. Really ?

So from this, it's safe to assume he was working as an Uber driver, using someone else's car sporting TfL roundels and using the Uber app. Allegedly a surprisingly common occurrence. 

Perhaps TfL could explain more about the Uber driver arrested on Exhibition Road who mowed down pedestrians while driving Uber passengers in a Prius....funny how that news of that incident suddenly dried up!

Just more proof of the collusion between the unsafe Private Hire App Uber and our wonderful licensing regulator (who appear to be looking after the reputation and public image of this company) 

Impartiality....don't make me laugh. 
TfL.... woefully inadequate and Totally Failing Londoners. 


Uber have RECENTLY announced, they are to introduce a Landline, although they haven't said where this 'NEW' feature is to be installed.

That's strange! Didn't Leon the liar in his appearance at City Hall, swear blind Uber already had one.... AS AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME, IT WAS A REQUIREMENT FOR A LICENSE?

Friday, February 16, 2018

HMRC Win Case Against BBC Presenters Over Tax Alleged Avoidance

Over 100 BBC stars face paying back hundreds of thousands in tax as HMRC wins claim against presenter

Oh dearie me, looks like some of these overpaid presenters on the Beeb have got more in common with Uber than we previously thought!

It's been alleged that many the beebs big pay packet earners have been avoiding UK taxes.

More than 100 BBC presenters are facing tax bills that could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds after a former star lost her case against HMRC.

Christa Ackroyd earned more than the Prime Minister as co-host of the regional Look North programme on BBC One.

She was paid as a freelancer through a personal services company at the BBC's request, but HMRC ruled that she should have paid the same level of tax as a BBC employee. Ms Ackroyd must now pay back £419,151.

In its ruling, the tax tribunal in Leeds said that, while this was not a test case, "we understand that the present appeal is one of a number of other appeals involving television presenters and personal service companies."

At least 100 past and present BBC presenters are under investigation for alleged tax avoidance by using personal service companies to register as self-employed thereby minimising their tax bills.
The case could also have ramifications in other industries.

After Always Stating That Their Drivers Can Work Anywhere, Uber Now Say They Can' Lee Ward

Uber have made a huge announcement on Valentine ’s Day, but I wonder just how heartfelt it truly is…

On the 14th of February 2018 Uber made the bold statement that they have changed where their drivers can work on its platform, this brought a great cheer from some, and a low moan from others.

An excerpt from Ubers newsletter states that;

They have chosen to Geo Fence areas of the UK, covering just about the whole of the UK in fact, but this Geo Fence is not exactly what both drivers and the authorities wanted.
It’s a half pregnant attempt to make it look like they have listened and acted, but have they really?

For years Uber’s defence of the question about drivers working remotely, or cross border, has always been this following go to statement as taken from the news article in regards to the failed license renewal in York.

So, the question has to be… Do Uber accept and agree that the drivers should not be working out of their licensing area, and if so, then why have they made the Geo Fence in such a way that they have?

Or, have their talks with local licensing authorities struck home, because the reason for this change is not that local drivers working on the Uber platform have demanded it, oh no, it’s because they have listened to the concerns of the local authorities..

Basically, the authorities are not happy with the amount of drivers working in their area from other licensing authorities, so how does this new change from Uber assist the local authority?

As you are aware by now, my local authority is Sheffield, let’s have a look at what the new Uber Geo Fence of Sheffield means as to who can work in Sheffield on the Uber platform shall we?

That magical Geo Fence that Uber have put around Yorkshire is what I would truly class as a half pregnant action…

And I will explain why.
They obviously have the technology to make a Geo Fence as they wish, they have obviously listened to what the authorities concerns are and they may have listened to what the drivers working in the area they are licensed have voiced their concerns about (Uber drivers do complain to Uber about other drivers licensed elsewhere working predominantly in their area) but why make the Geo Fence so large? Surely Uber know that people will see through this, or do they think most people have the brains of rat?

Let’s step out of the national change that Uber have brought about and look to London, where Uber have stated that their vehicles, owned and paid for by the drivers, are going to be either electric or hybrid by 2020 which happens to fall into the latest Policy Statement by TfL, perhaps one of the agreements in those cosy meetings that the two have had. But let’s not take away the fact that it is not Uber who are paying for these cleaner vehicles, the drivers are. This makes the statement by Uber an easy statement to make when it is not costing them a penny, or dime, or Euro Cent depending on how you look at it.

But, to be perfectly honest the rest of the Policy Statement by TfL and the Mayor leaves you legitimate Private Hire companies and London’s Finest in a spot of bother, actually you guys are in a quagmire and it’s sucking you under. Everything in that Statement is towards the Uber platform and the Data that it can deliver, Data is king, remember that.

So, I just did a U turn and headed back up North and I find that the situation here is not as drastic as it is down South, but it’s equally as worrying.
Uber have reduced where drivers can work dependant on where they are licensed, well that’s a start, but it is nowhere near what the trade requires. And, I will give a shout out to the drivers who have swallowed the Uber dream, gone to where Uber suggested and got their license and bought a vehicle to match, what about them?

Well, Uber are doing them another favour, they are going to pay them £1000 to swap their licensing authority to continue to work in the area that they work and then not take a commission for the first 250 jobs that they complete, so around another £350 or so on top of the £1000

That’s pretty impressive for a company that has always stated that the driver can work anywhere, isn’t it?

I can see why they lost $4.7 Billion last year…
Now let’s do something different for a change, let’s talk sense.

The authorities don’t like cross border hiring, the drivers don’t like cross border hiring and Uber agree that no one likes cross border hiring, even in the half pregnant way that they have addressed this issue, but it seems that no one likes cross border hiring..

Why are the Government dragging their feet over the issue then? Surely it can’t be to protect a company that pays virtually no TAX or VAT into the economy is it, because after Brexit I would guess we need every penny that’s owed to us…maybe I am wrong, ask the NHS.

The fact of all of this smoke and mirrors is simple, they want to appease the decision makers but are doing it in such a way that they are actually slapping them in the face and laughing as they walk away.

What happens to the areas that have licensed these drivers that can no longer work where they live, will they welcome them back with open arms and allow the local area to be flooded?

Will the areas that have been sign posted by Uber for the driver to go and get licensed accept the application and not give thought to where the driver will work, not expecting Uber or hopefully regulation to close the borders even further which would again cause an influx of drivers trying to feed their family in an area that cannot sustain them simply because that drivers options were reduced?

Uber have taken the first step, and now it’s time for the authorities to take the next and think carefully of who they give a license too and why.

Anyone Looking For A Well Paid, Full Time Job Driving For A New App???

Europcar, a leading mobility services provider, in partnership with OneTransport, are looking for PCO drivers for a fantastic new app based private hire service using Porsche cars.

So the idea that Gett’s promotion was to encourage people to use Taxis on a regular basis was in fact BS.

The real idea behind the scheme appears to have been a promo for a new app in partnership with Gett’s PH arm One Transport. 

Naughty OneTransport, picking up on a ZigZag.

Their advert for drivers goes on to say :
* Drive a Porsche with a guaranteed annual salary of £31,200 (pro-rata), with a bonus potential

* Be employed by Europcar on a six month contract with potential to extend

* Porsche, insurance and fuel provided!

* Only work five days per week across a seven day period

* Holiday entitlement, pension and other benefits

* Majority of work in central London (Zone 1 & 2)

* Driver training and induction day at Porsche Experience Centre Silverstone

* Potential bonus at the end of the contract

* Uniform provided

If you have a PCO license with a minimum of one year professional driving experience in London and great customer service skills, we'd love to hear from you!

So, they’ve allegedly used Gett’s app to test the waters for an app being launched by europcar in partnership with Gett’s partner OneTransport. 

The LCDC have taken steps to ban Gett advertising in the badge Taxi news paper, after a vote carried out amongst their membership. 

Is it now time for the LTDA to man up and take a similar vote of it's members