Friday, January 29, 2016

Immediate Private Hire....Or Plying For Hire...Scripted Or Improvised BS?

TfL have also invented a completely new term "immediate Private Hire". Does this refer to a pre booked minicab that's available for immediate hire....isn't that plying for hire. 

What is the definition of pre booking?

If you flag down or approach a parked private hire car....is that pre booking by asking the driver are you for hire?

Ever though that the TfL Twitter account @TfLTPH is no more than scripted smoke and mirrors, designed solely to protect the corrupted interpitation of the private hire act 1998 by TfL senior management?


            And then....there was silence!

TfL's Dancing On Heads Of Pins Goes On And On....by I'm Spartacus.

So folks here we have all we need to know about TfL and its intentions from the impact report.

          Displaying of cars available in app:

TfL recognise it's likely to be plying for hire, but have abrogated their duty to prevent it, by passing the buck for someone else to challenge. 

So much for Mayor Boris Johnson's "Uber are  breaking the law in all sorts of minor ways".

The Mayor has announced "subject to TfL Board approval in March 2016 TfL is not intending to proceed with this proposal. However, it is likely that this concept will be tested in the courts, providing a determination on whether this constitutes plying for hire".

Don't fret it gets worse! They (TfL) have not 'engaged' with us, despite us having three hundred years plus experience in this sector and a whole host of legal precedence on matters. We were of course allowed to write in, only to be ignored.  

He went on to say, "It is understood that the impacts of some of these proposals, and whether they are implemented or not, could have wider impacts on other transport providers, for example public transport and the taxi sector. Engagement has not been undertaken with representatives of these wider transport provider groups to date as part of this".

So the next step is for the TfL board, they can reject it and instruct Daniels and co to go back to the drawing board or perhaps even man up and take someone to court for the in app availability that all legal precedent states 'is Plying for Hire'

We all know who's on the TfL board and today they should state their intent at the meeting on the 17th of March

It's simple they are either with us if they reject or against us if they adopt this report.

Date for your diary: 

17th March 2016 TfL Board Meeting


I'm Spartacus

P.s can we now assume that the UTG trade orgs will repudiate the 'engagement policy' for the sham that it is and join their taxi driving brethren?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Edmonton Taxis Lose Battle To Stop Uber Becoming Legal


The bylaw includes the creating of two licences: one for ride-sharing companies like Uber, the other for taxis. Plus, Uber would pay $70,000 every year for all of their cars to operate in Edmonton, in addition to six cents per trip, while taxis would have to pay $410 per year for their licence.

Discussion on the bylaw has been met with protests from taxi drivers – two separate council meetings on the subject were interrupted when the taxi drivers in attendance started protesting.

The bylaw passed Wednesday will go into effect March 1.

Shortly after the decision was made, a statement was released on behalf of Uber’s General Manager for Alberta, Ramit Kar.

“Uber applauds the City of Edmonton for its leadership in being the first Canadian jurisdiction to adopt progressive regulations that embrace ridesharing.

“While these newly adopted regulations contain concessions for ridesharing service providers, the rules put in place a workable regulatory approach.”

Later the Alberta Taxi Group issued a statement in response to the vote, saying the group was disappointed, and the decision leaves Edmontonians “at the mercy of an unregulated market”.

In the statement, the group said Uber “set the agenda” and operated in the City illegally “without regard for the democratic process”.

Pascal Ryffel, spokesperson for the group, called the bylaw “essentially exactly what Uber has asked for since the beginning.

TfL : Dancing On The Head Of A Pin....by I'm Spartacus.

So here it is folks an extract from the impact assessment from tunnel engineers MottMcDonald paid by TfL about the refusal of TfL to implement the 5 minute rule

We no longer have Plying for Hire and Pre Booking for PH but another concept of 'more immediate private hire' also known as for centuries as Plying for Hire for anyone with an ounce of brain.

'Operators offering digital only bookings: 

'Whilst all operators could be impacted by this proposal in theory, the operator group expected to be most affected by this proposal will be those only offering digital booking because the technology used is aimed at providing more "immediate private hire". 

'Stakeholder engagement also suggests that current average wait times for this operator group are below five minutes. Services could be deemed less flexible/convenient to passengers as a result of this proposal and therefore there is a risk that this could reduce patronage. This proposal is also likely to impact on vehicle utilisation, and the potential to offer more trips which would affect income.

'As this is a long term impact which could affect business operations and trade, the impact has been assessed as major adverse'. 

Nothing about how anything adverse is for us, public safety or anything else.


So Boris and TfL you had your chance to right a wrong, you have blown it.

'Those who sow the wind, reap the whirlwind'

I'm Spartacus


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

LTDA Refuse Help With Crowdfunding Project And LCDC Want To Join With Campaigning Uber Drivers.

I've been told that the Action For Cabbies group, asked the LTDA to post an article in the new edition of Taxi paper. 

Allegedly, their request was rejected. The editor of Taxi paper obviously feels the story of a Taxi drivers acquitted of involvement in the Hatton Garden Heist would be of more interest to its readers, than the struggle of the wives, family and friends of Taxi drivers crowdfunding appeal to take TfL to court.

They then asked if the LTDA would kindly email their members informing them of the Action for Cabbies crowdfunding page. This too we are told, has been rejected.
 

Today, we find that the group representing private hire drivers, have been advertising the  Action for Cabbies campaign on social media and we believe they will now be encouraging all their members to pledge funding.

Even stranger however, after the LCDC's outright refusal to support the UCG's Whitehall demonstration, Grant Davis is now trying to gather support from all trade orgs and unions, to join up with the United Private Hire Drivers Group (this is the group which represents Uber drivers) with a demo in Whitehall.


In a leaked email (sent yesterday) to trade orgs, Grant said George Galloway would attend. Galloway recently address the UPHD meeting-also attended by the secretary of the LCDC-saying he would do everything in his power to support Private Hire drivers.

Grant said he hopes the UCG will cancel their demo and join with other trade orgs to support the Uber drivers who are on £4 an hour and have to claim benefit to make a living. 

So there you have it ...All this talk about unity and we have our largest association, offering no help to the Action for Cabbies group....And the LCDC who refused to support past and future demonstration by the UCG wanting to throw their lot in with Uber drivers.

Whether or not the other orgs and unions support this call, looks like the LCDC have already agreed to join with the Uber drivers in their struggle to get a bigger share from the work they are stealing from us.


Wonder how their membership feel about this! 
Did they even bother to ask their members?

Uber boss suggests drivers use ’90s kids game to distract drunk passengers....By Kitty Knowles.


Uber's Chief Security Officer has recommended drivers keep a Bop It on the back seat to entertain drunks and keep their cab safe.


In the UK we get pretty chuffed if an Uber driver so much as hands over a bottle of water on a ride home from the pub.

Now, the cab company’s Chief Security Officer, Joe Sullivan, has suggested employees hand out something even better to the somewhat inebriated – a retro children’s toy.

Bop It, a Hasbro toy that has existed in various manifestations since 1996, is “a great way to keep drunk riders entertained so they don’t distract their driver”, says Sullivan.

The Uber boss spotted the trend in Charlotte, North Carolina, and recommends it to drivers elsewhere.

“If you use the Uber app in Charlotte, North Carolina you might find a Bop It toy in the back of your driver’s car. Folks there have found it’s a great way to keep drunk riders entertained so they don’t distract their driver.”
  


Source The Memo.com
Read Kitty Knowles' full article : >CLICK HERE<

TREVOR MERRELLS Campaign Manager of the UCG Reply to LCDC's Chairman, Grant Davis.

               Trevor Merrells LTR Interview E40



Carpe Diem : In the Wake Of The EU Taxi Alliance Demo, Next Wednesday... It's Our Turn

    

NEWS FLASH  :  PLEASE NOTE
THE UCG/RMT DEMO HAS BEEN MOVED TO FEB 10th

THE AREA WILL BE IN COMPLETE LOCKDOWN NEXT WEEK 
DUE TO A G20 MEETING AT QE2 CENTRE


   


              REMEMBER YOUR FIVE A DAY :
Not not a lecture about healthy eating though I am sure we can all do better.

No just five key points to remember for when customer, the press or anyone else asks what the issues are concerning our trade.

1. Inadequate enforcement of the law by TfL.

2. Foreign multi nationals undermining local businesses with predatory pricing.

3. What seems to be an optional 3% tax rate for those above.

4. Unsustainable licensing of PH vehicles leading to pollution and congestion.

5. Clear political interference in licensing and regulation matters.

So there we are folks, no mention of the U word and very good to see trade orgs coming together, indeed as overheard in the shelter 'something must be up, people are attending LTDA meetings', let's all get active.

Remember your five a day and let's get the trade back to full health.

I'm Spartacus

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

French PM bows to pressure after taxi drivers protest

Who says demos don't work! 

Tuesday morning saw France hit by yet another taxi strike, with drivers furious over what they claim to be unfair competition from private hire companies and web platforms like Uber. 

Prime Minister Manuel Valls met with a delegation representing various professional taxi organizations in the afternoon, in which he promised to appoint an independent mediator within two days.

Round table talks between taxi company chiefs and ministers would also take place and a three month consultation period would be launched.

Union heads at the meeting said Valls also promised an "intensification of checks" on private minicab firms, known as VTCs, whom taxi drivers accuse of flouting laws.. 

Valls later confirmed the information, although exactly what the intensification will involve remains unclear.

The main complaint of taxi drives is that the laws that are in place to ensure fairer competition with VTC are not being enforced.

They complain for example that VTC drivers cruise around looking to pick up clients which they are banned from doing so.

The taxi driver strike - the second since June last year - saw key roads to airports blocked and other strategic points across the country, some with burning tyres, and with motorists left with no choice but to endure heavy delays. 


Police made over 20 arrests, most at Porte Maillot on the western edge of Paris where protesting taxi drivers were holding demonstrations on the Paris ring road.

There were reports of Uber cars being attacks and a VTC driver being beaten up in the northern city of Lille.

PM Valls condemned the violence, which wasn't on the same level as a previous taxi protest last June. 

"There is a right to protest... even during a state of emergency," he said. "But violence is unacceptable."


Police Fire Tear Gas At French Taxi Drivers In Anti Uber Protest

  


Paris police fired tear gas and taxi drivers lit bonfires on a major highway Tuesday amid nationwide strikes and protests over working conditions and competition from non-traditional services such as Uber.




Prime Minister Manuel Valls agreed to an emergency meeting with taxi drivers Tuesday afternoon, in an apparent attempt to defuse tensions. Tuesday's protests are the latest challenge to the Socialist government as it tries to modernize the economy and find France's place in an increasingly globalized, online marketplace.

One in five flights were canceled at Paris airports and other flights faced delays as air traffic controllers staged a walkout and taxi drivers disrupted roads. 



Twenty people were detained at protests around the French capital, according to Paris police, and i-Tele television reported that two people were injured at Orly Airport when a shuttle bus tried to force its way past a taxi drivers' blockade.


Some teachers and other public servants are also on strike over wages, education reforms and working conditions.

Hundreds of French taxis, joined by a few from Belgium and Spain, blocked a massive intersection leading into western Paris. Dozens of taxi drivers tried to march onto an eight-lane bypass, but police pushed them back with tear gas. Some drivers set pre-dawn bonfires, put out later by firefighters.



Traditional taxi drivers say they're suffering unfair competition from Uber, which has faced legal challenges around Europe.


Uber's lowest-cost service is banned in France and two Uber executives go on trial next month in Paris for fraud. Previous French taxi protests have also turned violent, with ambushes of Uber drivers and passengers.


Karim Asnoun, head of the CGT Taxi Union, said at Tuesday's Paris protest: "Unfortunately the governments are weak and as unemployment is pressuring them, they cede. They think they are creating jobs, whereas for every created job there is one that's destroyed."



Uber sent a message to French customers warning of potential violence, saying the goal of Tuesday's protest is "to put pressure on the government to ... limit competition." It warned that limiting app-based car services would raise costs, put drivers out of work and send customers back to the era "before apps and smartphones."

Protests were also held in other French cities.

 


Uber drivers "vandalize professionals who are paying taxes, who respect the rules," said Rachid Boudjema, 37, president of the taxi drivers union in Marseille. He described "American cowboys" who "want to destroy our system, the system we are all attached to."



COMMENT FROM LEE: 
Who says demos don't work! 

"Prime Minister Manuel Valls agreed to an emergency meeting with taxi drivers Tuesday afternoon, in an apparent attempt to defuse tensions" 

Do you think he would have agreed to this meeting if they hadn't protested and just asked nicely?

EDITORIAL COMMENT:
A delegation of representatives from the London taxi trade, have signed up to an agreement to support our European colleagues.


At yesterday's EUTaxi Allience meeting in Paris, it was decided that every Airport in the EU is to be shut down for one whole day. More detail on this as and when we get it.

Meanwhile here in London...

NOW IS THE TIME FOR THE TRADE TO UNITE BEHIND THE ACTION TAKING PLACE IN LONDON ON FEBRUARY 3rd.

This text sent out today to all RMT members :

            **RMT LONDON TAXI**
                     **DRIVERS**

All,

RMT LTDB met with officers of the UCG yesterday at Unity House.
We have provisionally agreed to support the proposed industrial action. Both organisations are in agreement that the PHV Regs Review were the work of the Tory government who the trade must organise against.

RMT LTDB have been unequivocal in its stance that the deregulation of the licensed taxi industry is a Tory led attack and the branch has consistently argued this within the trade.

Details to follow.

In solidarity 
Lewis Norton

Branch Secretary

Another Nail In Our Coffin ? Electric Cars To Be Allowed In Bus Lanes.

Taxis no longer privileged, Electric Cars are also to be allowed in bus lanes

Sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles rose by 40% in 2015, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

However in London, fully Electric car cars dropped in popularity. In a bid to make driving Electric Vehicles more attractive, rules will be changed to allow drivers to travel in bus lanes as part of plans to boost vehicles sales in England.

Free parking spaces for plug-in car owners and streetlight charging points are also set to be introduced.

The government awarded cash to four areas which successfully bid for a share of £40m funding.

Transport secretary Patrick McLaughlin said the councils had shown "exciting, innovative ideas" for electric cars. 

Nottinghamshire and Derby, Milton Keynes, Bristol and London qualified for a share of the cash.

Bus lanes in Milton Keynes will be re-branded as low emission lanes giving plug-in vehicles the same priority as buses at traffic lights. 

The town, which has been awarded £9m, will also build an advice centre offering short-term loans for electric car purchases. 

It is also proposing to open all its 20,000 parking bays for free to electric cars.

Nottingham City Council will also open up some of its bus lanes, and use part of its £6m grant to install 230 charge points. 

Councils are proposing a number of electric car charge points on residential streets

A spokesman for Derby City Council said any change to allow electric vehicles to use bus lanes would be subject to consultation.

"I want to see thousands more greener vehicles on our roads and I am proud to back this ambition with £40m," Mr McLaughlin said of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme.

He described the UK as a "world leader" in the uptake of low-emission vehicles and said the government planned to invest £600m by 2020.

London has been given £13m and will use the money to introduce charging points and free parking spaces.

'Vanity project'

In Bristol, £7m will be used to introduce free residential parking for low-emission vehicles, access to three car share lanes and over 80 fast chargers.

The scheme is also providing £5m worth of funding for low-emission development projects in Oxford, Dundee, York and the North East. 

However, the TaxPayers' Alliance criticised the grants as a "vanity project" which would benefit only a small number of people.

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "Going green is a worthy goal, but why should already hard-pressed taxpayers be expected to subsidise the expensive choice of vehicle of such a tiny minority?"

Tory Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has said, should he be elected later this year, he will consider allowing electric vehicles into bays lanes in London. 

Source : BBC online news 

Letter to Editor : Private Hire Vehicles Licensed Without Hire And Reward Insurance.

       NOTICE SOMETHING MISSING?

All PH drivers should have the appropriate hire and reward insurance before their vehicle is passed by TfL inspectors and the PH prebooked sticker is issued.

This TfL rule relates to the Road Traffic Act 1988 which states quite clearly use of the vehicle for hire or reward.

So one would assume that all of the 95k PH drivers presented their vehicles to the TfL inspectors with the correct documentation including V5 log books, current MOT not more than 21 days old and the appropriate hire and reward insurance to comply with the regulation before the vehicle is inspected and subsequently passed as fit for purpose.

I contacted TfL’s PH inspection centre today and asked what type of insurance should I provide when presenting my PH vehicle for inspection. The response shocked me, they said “we would require a current 3rd party or a full comprehensive social, domestic and pleasure insurance policy”. I asked if they would want to see my hire and reward insurance documentation? 
Their reply “we never ask to see hire and reward insurance as it is of no interest to us”.

So we have 95k private hire drivers having their vehicles passed by TfL with total disregard to their own rules in the PH Act and the Road Traffic Act.

What puzzles me is how or who checks to see if PH drivers have the additional hire and reward insurance? 
We now know the police cannot check through ANPR if the driver has the correct insurance in place because ANPR does not include hire and reward.
 
What measures do TfL have of checking that the drivers’ hire and reward insurance is up to date and valid.

We know Uber drivers are paying between £150-250 per week for their vehicle which has social, domestic and pleasure insurance and the leasing of the vehicle is stopped at source by Uber, along with their cut, a hefty 20-25%. Now, if you were to add on the cost of additional appropriate hire and reward insurance, the driver/slave would have to find between £100-140 per week extra for this insurance.
 
Now we hear in the media that many of these drivers are encouraged to work 80 hours per week, clock up 100k miles per year, and are earning less than the minimum wage, do the numbers. If they complied with all the regulations they would be losing money. This model is not financially viable unless supported by tax credits. (See Editorial Extra below)
 

Road Traffic Act 1988
 
150 Insurance or security in respect of private use of vehicle to cover use under car-sharing arrangements.

(1)To the extent that a policy or security issued or given for the purposes of this Part of this Act—
(a)restricts the insurance of the persons insured by the policy or the operation of the security (as the case may be) to use of the vehicle for specified purposes (for example, social, domestic and pleasure purposes) of a non-commercial character, or
(b)excludes from that insurance or the operation of the security (as the case may be)—
(i)use of the vehicle for hire or reward, or
(ii)business or commercial use of the vehicle, or
(iii)use of the vehicle for specified purposes of a business or commercial character,
then, for the purposes of that policy or security so far as it relates to such liabilities as are required to be covered by a policy under section 145 of this Act, the use of a vehicle on a journey in the course of which one or more passengers are carried at separate fares shall, if the conditions specified in subsection (2) below are satisfied, be treated as falling within that restriction or as not falling within that exclusion (as the case may be).

(2)The conditions referred to in subsection (1) above are—
(a)the vehicle is not adapted to carry more than eight passengers and is not a motor cycle,
(b)the fare or aggregate of the fares paid in respect of the journey does not exceed the amount of the running costs of the vehicle for the journey (which for the purposes of this paragraph shall be taken to include an appropriate amount in respect of depreciation and general wear), and
(c)the arrangements for the payment of fares by the passenger or passengers carried at separate fares were made before the journey began.

(3)Subsections (1) and (2) above apply however the restrictions or exclusions described in subsection (1) are framed or worded.

(4)In subsections (1) and (2) above “fare” and “separate fares” have the same meaning as in section 1(4) of the M4Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981.
 

Regards 
Tom Scullion 

Editorial Extra:
It seems that not only are TfL happy to turn a blind eye to Uber drivers not having expensive Hire and Reward insurance, we now find that the Treasury are quite happy to turn a blind eye on Private Hire drivers, subsidising their below minimum wage take home pay, with Taxi credits at public expense. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

London Taxi Trade Reps In Talks with Euro Taxi Orgs In Paris, Day Before French Taxis Go On Strike.

London Taxi representatives from the UCG, LTDA LCDC and Unite Cab Section , are currently in Paris to dicuss international action with Europian Taxi orgs, ahead of tomorrow's planned Taxi strike by Parisian Taxi drivers. 


Organisers are predicting massive support from their taxi drivers and they say that tempers may be as frayed as they were during last year's strikes, which saw blockades of roads, fisticuffs with non-strikers and vehicles set on fire.

Trade unions and employers' groups have come together to protest at the spread of companies putting non-professional drivers in touch with customers, claiming that measures already enacted by the government are often flouted or inoperable.


The Constitutional Council have banned UberPop, the US giant's low-cost service, and new measures are planned in future.


But taxi firms say that reservations have fallen 20 per cent and 30 per cent fewer cabs are hailed in the street, although business has also been hit by the drop in tourism after the November Paris attacks.

NYC's Yellow Cab App, Great Way To Avoid Uber's Surge Pricing

Last weekend, I found myself in a familiar situationIt was after midnight, I was far from my apartment, and I wanted to go home and go to sleep.

I was in an area of Brooklyn where I couldn't just walk outside and hail a cab, so I opened Lyft to try to get a ride home. But demand for cars was off the charts, so "Primetime" pricing was in effect, meaning prices were exorbitantly high.

I opened Uber, and it was surging to nearly twice the normal rate.

I thought I'd have to suck it up and pay a ridiculous amount of money to get home. But a friend I was with suggested I try the app Way2Ride, which I'd never heard of until then.


So I downloaded it, signed up, and got home by paying a normal cab fair. No surge pricing.

And because of Way2Ride, I don't think I'll ever pay for surge pricing again.

After you download the app, you'll have to create an account and enter your payment information.


Way2Ride is basically the traditional taxi industry's answer to Uber and Lyft — it's a way to hail taxis and then pay for the ride through your smartphone. 

There's currently no fee for using the app, so you just pay the cab's metered fair.

For now, it's only available in New York, but the service is coming to major cities in the US early next year. There are 14,000 New York cabs that work with Way2Ride.

The app is made by Verifone, the company that makes the payment technology and video screens you see in many taxis.


The app uses your phone's GPS to find you, but you can also type in your address. There are 23 cabs around me!

Like other ride hailing apps, you can use the app to let the driver know if you forgot something in the car.


The Way2Ride app is by no means as well-designed as Uber or Lyft, and the service isn't as fancy, but it gets the job done!

And if you're looking for a ride home, that's all that's important.

You can download Way2Ride for iOS and Android.

Source TechInsider.io

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Uber Scraps Flat Rate Fares To London Airports In Bid To Recruit More Drivers.

Minicab app Uber, has announced that it will stop offering flat rates to customers travelling to London airports.

Previously, they offered a series of low cost set fares for journeys to Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stanstead.

Rates to Heathrow started as low as £30 for a journey from west London, while passengers could travel to Gatwick from south London for £50.

In an email to its customers, Uber said: "Flat rate fares between London airports and central London will no longer applly. Instead, fares will be calculated using Uber's time and distance rates meter on the drivers phone, just as they are for normal Uber trips.

"Whether you're heading off on a business trip or coming back from holiday, you can always get a fare estimate in–app to see how much your ride will cost."

In reality the final price charged bares little reality to the estimate as drivers go on a roundabout rout.

The email also warned that airport pick-ups will incur an additional surcharge to cover minimum parking costs.

Strange as TfL are set to scrap the pick up surcharge at Heathrow currently charged by Licensed Black Taxis.

It seems that TfL are OK with Uber charging their customers more than the metered fare, but intend to put a stop to black cabs recovering a portion of the charge they pay Heathrow to pick up fares.

Several customers have taken to social media to voice their strong disappointment at the news. It is hoped that more passengers will now return to the traditional black cabs how know we're they're going and provide better value for money.


Jon Tarsey tweeted: "Very disappointed that Uber are moving to calculated airport fares - the flat rates were one less thing to worry about when travelling." 


AGAIN....WE'VE ALL BEEN STITCHED UP : TfL's Card Payment Recommendations.

On Friday, representatives from the Licensed Taxi trade groups plus carefully selected trade Orgs (UTG) were invited to a meeting with TfL. At the meeting they were told how TfL intended to mandate "Card Payments In Taxis". 

Below are the recommendations.
TfL will implement after they have recieved the rubber stamp from the TfL board on "Demo Day", the 3rd of December.

Although the paper (released on the 21st) carries the headline "this paper will be considered in public", again this statement has been made under TfLs own warped sense of interpretation. The consultation is over, that it.

The LCDC have previously made a statement, via Twitter, that TfL do not negotiate. When these recommendations are approved by the board, and have no doubt they will be,  the system below WILL be implemented.


This paper will be considered in public 

1 Summary

  1. 1.1  The purpose of this paper is to update the Committee on mandating card payment acceptance in taxis.

  2. 1.2  This matter was discussed at Surface Transport Panel at its meeting on 22 October 2015.

2 Recommendation

2.1 The Committee is asked to note the paper and recommend that the Board agrees in respect of taxis:

(a) the following changes to come into effect on 2 April 2016:

(i) to remove the existing surcharge of up to 10 per cent of the fare payable or £1, whichever is greater, that passengers currently pay when paying by debit or credit card (a card);

(ii) mandate a maximum card payment transaction fee to drivers of 3 per cent of the total sum payable for TfL approved card payment devices. This will be included in the TfL guidelines for electronic payment devices; and

(iii)the minimum taxi fare (flagfall) to be increased by 20 pence from £2.40 to £2.60 per trip to compensate taxi drivers for costs associated with accepting card payments;

(b) the following changes to come into effect on 3 October 2016:

(i) to mandate card acceptance in all taxis and as, a minimum, devices should accept Chip and PIN, contactless and magnetic swipe payments;

(ii) to mandate acceptance of VISA and Mastercard payments as a minimum but drivers may also choose to accept other cards, such as American Express and Diners Club;

(iii)to mandate that card payment devices will be required to be fixed in the passenger compartment of the taxi so passengers stay in control of their card details at all times. [This could be fixed

 equipment or handheld devices affixed to a cradle, approved by TfL to ensure passenger safety. Web payment devices, such as Hailo’s new payment solution are also to be permitted to co-exist alongside fixed equipment so drivers can offer hirers choice of payment methods]; and

(iv)to approve clear signage, visible from outside the vehicle, to make clear that all taxis now accept card payments. [This will be linked with a marketing campaign by TfL to make clear all taxis accept card payments]; and

(c) to investigate the feasibility of the following change coming into effect from April 2018:

(i) to mandate that all card payment devices are linked to the taximeter, noting that the industry needs to work towards standard solutions that integrate card payment devices with the taximeter.

Below is a link to the whole release. 

Please read and take note that in a number of topics, TfL took more notice of "supposed potential Taxi users", than they did from actual users and licensed Taxi drivers.

It appears as with every TfL consultation we've been involved in, we've been stitched up AGAIN.

Again the second biggest trade org were excluded from the meeting.

Editorial Extra.
We've received information, TfL are going to force drivers to accept card payments by changing the cab order.

There are many legal eagles out there saying this can't be done, it's against the law to force small businesses to give credit. 
Well, we've been told that's exactly what TfL intend to do. 

Source :

We've also been informed through our FaceBook Group, that one of our members was at a meeting last week, were LTPH  General Manager Helen Chapman stated any equipment found with a sock or plastic bag over it will be given a stop note. She also said this would be a priority for enforcement.