Sunday, September 24, 2017

Uber Spelling Tips From The Producer Of The Knowledge Play At The Charing Cross Theatre!

Good Advice from this driver advising you to go see this fabulous show .

Today's topical spelling tip :

" licence " is a noun 

" license " is a verb 

( in British English, the Americans use " license " for both ) 

Hard to remember UNLESS you think of " advice " and " advise " , which work exactly the same way but their respective pronunciations give them away. 

FYI " practice " and " practise " also work the same way 

SO to choose a random example : 

Uber have lost their licence 

Uber are no longer licensed 

Uber were not deemed fit and proper to hold a licence 

TfL's licensing decision re Uber was the right one 

Uber are appealing against the loss of their licence 

We all hope that Uber are not relicensed 

Hope that helps !

Vaughan Williams.

Taxi Leaks Extra Comment :
Yes it's very true....this blog needs all the help it can get with spelling !

Cambridge 'looking closely' at Uber licence after London drops the ride-hailing app

City bosses will be “looking closely” at whether Uber is allowed to continue operating in Cambridge following news that Transport for London (TfL) won’t renew its licence in London.

It was announced on Friday (September 22) that TfL will not renew Uber’s private hire operator licence after it expires on September 30.

The capital’s transport regulator said the Silicon Valley technology giant’s approach and conduct was not fit and proper to hold a private vehicle hire license.

It also cited Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers for its decision. 


A spokesman for Cambridge City Council said: “We note the announcement by TfL today that it will not be renewing Uber’s licence.

“Uber currently holds a one year private hire operator licence with the council and this will expire in December.

“We will look closely at the detail of TfL’s decision and the likely appeal Uber has indicated it will lodge against that decision before considering Uber’s operator licence in Cambridge, and whether that licence should be renewed or not.”

The council is responsible for licensing all Hackney carriage, private hire and dual drivers, as well as minicab proprietors and operators in Cambridge.

              Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner

The spokesman for the authority added that the council’s top priority is public safety, which is why it carries out enhanced checks for criminal records on all taxi drivers before issuing licences.

South Cambridgeshire District Council has also said it will look closely at the detail of the TfL decision against Uber today (September 22)- including a likely appeal the taxi company has said it will lodge.

The authority has granted 50 private hire licences for Uber drivers but wants to reassure local people that all minicab drivers in the area have been through the same rigorous checks - no matter who they drive for.

Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member responsible for licensing, said: “The decision in London is not to renew the company licence for Uber and our job now is to understand in detail why.


“The information Transport for London have published so far does not give us enough detail but I can reassure local people that we will be looking in to it closely.

“Uber has 50 drivers licensed by us and we assess all drivers in exactly the same way – it does not matter which company they drive for." -Apart from the ones Cambridge licence, hundreds of London Uber drivers registered with TfL, work the app in the Cambridge area. 

"We include the most stringent enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks". -It's alleged London Uber drivers submitted 13,000 fake DBS certificates.


Cambridge MP and member of the Transport Select Committee and Shadow Transport Minister, Daniel Zeichner, said he was introducing a Private Member's Bill to improve safety standards in the taxi industry.

“The government has known for a long time that it needs to sort out taxi and private hire licensing, but has just dug its heels in and refused to act or make these tough decisions," he said. (Follow the money)

“It’s time for them to act, to protect authorities like TfL who are responsible for the safety of those using transport, but who don’t have the power to actually kick out bad working practices.

"At the moment, they are risking TfL being exposed to 30,000 or 40,000 drivers licensed elsewhere but working in London.

“I hope that my Private Members‘ Bill, entitled the Licensing of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill, will go some way to improving the industry’s safety standards, but it’s clear that they government really need to act and provide a joined-up, coherent revamp of the rules.

“Some of the current laws date back to the Victorian times.

"I hope the government will support my Bill in February, but I also hope that this kind of brave move by TfL will push them into taking some sensible action.“


Source : Cambridge-News.co.uk

The Mayor releases statement over UBER petition:

In response to a petition on Change.org about TfL’s licensing decision on Uber, The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
 

“Transport for London (TfL) yesterday informed Uber London Limited (Uber) that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence after expiry of its current licence on 30 September.  This decision was made independently by TfL as the legal taxi and private hire regulator for London. 
 
“TfL has concluded that Uber’s conduct is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence. TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues that have potential public safety and security implications. These include Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences, its approach to how medical certificates are obtained and its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.  
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2yhssmC
 
“I have written for The Guardian about why I have backed TfL’s decision, however, I want to be absolutely clear that there is a place in London for all private hire companies that play by the rules.
 
“Uber’s current licence does not expire until the end of September so the service will continue until then. The company can also continue to operate until the appeals process has been exhausted.
 
“I know that Uber has become a popular service for many Londoners – but it would be wrong for TfL to license Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety or security.
 
“As Mayor of London I welcome innovative new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service – but providing an innovative service is not an excuse for not following the rules. All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect - particularly when it comes to the safety of customers.  
 
“I have every sympathy with Uber drivers and customers affected by this decision but their anger really should be directed at Uber. They have let down their drivers and customers by failing, in the view of TfL, to act as a fit and proper operator. 

“I suspect it will take some time before this situation with Uber fully plays out. In the meantime, I will continue my work to help support innovative businesses in London and to create a vibrant and safe taxi and private hire market.”
 
ENDS


Taxi Leaks Extra Bits :




Love him, or hate him, posibly the best George Galloway speech.....ever.

   

Fake Medicals, Fake Topographical Test's, Fake DBS Certificates.... And now




THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN
Remember the petition, Uber handed it in at the wrong building. You remember the one, it had tens of thousands of signatures from people who said they never signed it!!!




Well they are at it again. Taxi leaks are now receiving reports that anti Uber drivers are being excluded from radio talk shows on LBC and the BBC. 


As we said before....follow the money 


Letter from Greenbadgejohn 

The Media onslaught begins.

Uber has launched an on-line petition with figures of apparently half a million signatories being regularly mentioned on TV and Radio.... and yet no one states the plight of the sweat shop economy Uber operates by... no, its the "me me me" attitude of no longer being able to get home below reasonable cost riders not even caring one jot about the many victims of sexual assaults and the clearest dismissive attitude of their Uber app provider who felt it was in their own remit to choose and adjudicate as to the seriousness of reporting crimes committed by staff under their watch. 

This whole seedy episode was brewing daily and clear for everyone to see for the last 5 years, prospective Uber drivers were even recruited with interpretors to assist their applications and now they have their feet firmly under the table and irrespectively finding themselves being threatened as completely damaged by the un-removable stain of corruption greed and exploitation and complete irregularity, their resurrection plans and tactics are becoming clearer by the hour, ..... bribery by populism.


Uber have launched a campaign of popularity by launching the petition to overwhelm adjudicators and influence future judges into making decisions purely on popular grounds which has nudged online signatures in return for cheap and even cheaper journeys home....same old corrupt Uber using the only tool in their box of buying influence by cash burn ideology.

I was reading about an Uber driver who joined 4 years ago simply because the local mini cab firm he had worked for for years had gone bust because of high rents and overheads of providing TFL legally required offices, phones, staff to check driver validities such as insurance driving licenses mot's and CRB's and equally importantly eye contact with the prospective driver to plainly assess their capability and ability to do the job, That requirement was avoided by Uber, And now TFL has made the decision they have about Uber, he would be delighted to return to a local service where he had excellent local to-and-from knowledge and importantly received a living wage according to the reasonable competitive fare and not being exploited to having to work 8 hours a day to achieve break even before profit began as with Uber.


Right now, there are large sections of the press and media stirring up the completely laughable notion that somehow 30-40 Thousands of Uber drivers will be turning up at the unemployment offices being rendered out of work if TFL are not forced into changing their minds about not granting Uber a new license from 1st October which is complete rubbish.

Every good private hire driver will return to where they once worked and some may even find confidence to open new offices, and a more technological private hire system will be resurrected where (as now) texts are sent to the booked caller wherever they are, stating the car type, registration number and drivers name, and yes it may be slightly more expensive....that is the reality of fair business practices.

If the BBC or any Newspaper ceased tomorrow all the better journalists would soon find another job...as for the rest, it seems unemployment would clearly suit them in the longest queue we'd have seen for ages because that profession is clearly lacking in moral fortitude and honest thinking, and remember how much governmental subsidy and tax credits are being paid to all those underpaid Uber drivers which could now turn into unemployment benefit helping finding new honest employment instad of shoring up one... if not 'the' most parasitical business enterprises ever created on planet earth.


Be Lucky

greenbadgejohn (on twitter)



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Crocodile Tears, Paper Tigers And Sleeping Lions.... By I'm Spartacus.


So Tfl no doubt reluctantly stepped up to defend the traveller, but with little choice after many transgressions and then the final stake through the heart written by the upright citizen and proper copper that is Inspector Billany who exposed the applicant for what they were 
unfit and improper.

Crocodile Tears
Cue the social media frenzy and parade of bought advertorials, no mark politicos and all those bleeding hearts about 40000 people being thrown on the scrap heap, yet if and when Driverless cars appear the very same people will say nowt when quadruple that number go west, 'its cheep though innit'.

We all know most will just sign up with another operator or possibly join the ranks of world renown by completing the KOL, if not their just holding a one way ticket to Loserville courtesy of the West Coast Bro's.


Paper Tigers
Well that's what the trade has been viewed as by all and sundry, we have been as Gilligan said Balkanised, so those in Unions, Trade Orgs ensure that YOU get involved, campaign for joined up thinking and accountability, defining PFH and ensuring TfL maintain the differential of the two tier system, after all that's what they say they want.


Sleeping Lions
Sorry again that's us, whatever happens after the Lawyers have had their feast, be sure things will never be the same, let's be sharp, smart and savvy. 
You can bet every PH firm will be looking to grab market share, let's do the same and whatever we do always remember this:

If you value it, defend it!

I'm Spartacus

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA :

Listen to Wes Streeting's Tweet.

Why TFL were right not to renew Uber's licence and why their business model should concern all of us.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Light At The End Of The Tunnel As TfL Refuse Uber Licence To Operate In London.


Uber will not be issued a new private operators licence, when their current licence expires, Transport for London (TfL) said today. 

Their current licence expires at the 30th of September and then they will have 21 days to appeal, during which time it can continue to operate.

TfL concluded the ride-hailing app firm was not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence after a number of contributory scandals hit the media earlier this year. 

Also FOI requests from members of the Taxi trade representative group The London Taxi Drivers Club (LCDC), exposed a mass of emails which showed an unsavoury relationship between Uber executives and senior TfL staff. Evidence was also given to the Sunday Times by the LCDC regarding the authenticity of 13,000 DBS certificates after TfL tried to sweep the problem under the carpet.

Uber's approach and conduct demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility which could have potential public safety and security implications, it said. 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said in a statement: "I fully support TfL's decision - it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is anyway that this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety and security. This is not an anti Minicab app decision, this is a anti not playing by the rules decision."


Current statistics have shown that in London alone, Uber drivers were responsible for committing one serious sexual assaults including rape of vulnerable passengers every eleven days. Last year showed a 50% rise in passenger attacks from Uber drivers.

London Cabby Gerald Coba said:

"This decision from TfL will almost certainly make traveling on London streets much safer. Bus drivers will no longer be doing uber shifts before starting work driving buses. 

"It should also make driving along one way streets safer too. But this isn't the end. Uber will try to carry on using PHVs registered by other licensing authorities. Cross-boarder hiring needs to be dealt with ASAP, as its become a major problem across the UK.

"But now TfL have refused to relicense, I strongly believe other authorities around the country will now follow suit."

Good news, as bookmakers William Hill make Uber 4/6 on to lose their appeal. 
"This is a huge move by TfL and no doubt Uber will fight the decision. However we think it is likely the ruling will be upheld" said William Hill Spokesman Joe Crilly. 

Taxi Leaks Extra Comment:
Although this is a massive victory for the trade we mustn't forget that the original problems of eHailing (instant hiring via a smart phone) along with the cross boarder hiring is still in place. Until these problems are dealt with, we are in danger of another app based operator picking up the gauntlet.


A bitter George Osbourne hits back on behalf of his chums with Fake News.


It's what we've come to expect from the Standard since George became editor  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

More Congestion, More Pollution, More Cycle Lanes

Planners have purposely left out the horrendous traffic congestion caused by segregated cycle lanes 

Plans for the first cycle superhighway in west London were unveiled today.

More than half of the 5.6-mile CS9 route between Kensington Olympia and Brentford town centre will be on segregated lanes, protecting riders from other traffic.

Construction is due to start late next year and could add to demands for a superhighway on Kensington High Street to create a link with the flagship East-West superhighway at Hyde Park.

The route links with already announced plans to enable cyclists to bypass the Hammersmith gyratory. 

It diverts riders off Chiswick High Road at Turnham Green and onto residential streets, which will be closed to through traffic. Cyclists will also be able to bypass the busy Kew Bridge junction.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “This new cycle superhighway will bring a high-quality segregated cycle lane to west London for the very first time."

It will make a real difference in encouraging Londoners of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes and improve conditions for pedestrians across the area.”

The proposals, revealed as a consultation was launched today by Transport for London, also include five new traffic light junctions and improvements to 20 pedestrian crossings.

Simon Munk, infrastructure campaigner at London Cycling Campaign, said: “This route will tame several dangerous junctions, enable far more people of all ages and abilities to cycle to local shops, stations and into work and extend the cycle superhighway network to areas where cycling demand is high but cycling infrastructure is virtually non-existent.”

A single two-way superhighway will be built between Olympia and Turnham Green.

There will be no segregation as the route transfers onto Heathfield Terrace and Wellesley Road. Single lanes on either side of the road wil be built on the South Circular Road, Kew Bridge Road and Brentford High Street.

The intention is to eventually extend the route west into Hounslow, with a second consultation expected next year.

The CS9 proposals come after Mr Khan axed Boris Johnson’s plans to extend the East-West route into Acton via the A40 Westway flyover.

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “Cycle Superhighway 9 will be hugely important in helping cyclists in the west travel safely and inspire many more Londoners to take up cycling for the first time.”

Wesley Harcourt, Hammersmith & Fulham council cabinet member for environment, said: “As part of our aim of becoming the greenest borough in the country, we want to double the number of journeys in the borough being taken by bike.

"Key to that aim is making people feel safe. This new route enables people to get right across the borough and into central London easily, and without the fear of sharing space with large motor vehicles."

The entire route, between Olympia and Hounslow, is projected to cost up to £70 million, making it the most expensive cycle superhighway in London. It would be opened in stages as construction progresses.

Legal Trouble On The Horizon For The Toxicity Charge


To try to reduce air pollution in London, the toxicity charge, or T-charge, will come into effect on the 23 October 2017. It aims to discourage the use of older cars on the road, as these produce the most dangerous fumes.

Now, however, FairFuelUK is seeking to raise a legal challenge against the T-charge, arguing that a full public enquiry should have preceded the decision to implement it. The challenge could have implications for every major UK town and city.

What is the T-charge?

The T-charge is expected to affect up to 10,000 vehicles every weekday, so plenty of people will find themselves needing to pay it. It targets nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, as these have a negative effect on human health. This is becoming more worrying as the population of London continues to grow.

Anyone driving through London in a car, van, minibus, bus, coach or heavy goods vehicle that does not meet the Euro emissions standards will be required to pay the T-charge. This is in addition to the congestion charge that is already in place.

What will you be paying?

The minimum emission standards are Euro 4 for petrol and diesel vehicles, and Euro 3 for motorised tricycles and quadricycles. Any vehicle that does not meet these standards will be subject to the T-charge.

The charge will apply to drivers using the capital’s roads between 7 am and 6 pm Monday to Friday. The cost to those drivers will be £10 per day. The T-charge does not apply on bank holidays, or from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day.

If you are unsure of whether you’ll need to pay the T-charge for your vehicle, you can check your vehicle registration certificate (V5C), which displays the emissions standard that the vehicle is classed as.

If your vehicle doesn’t meet the Euro emissions standards, and you fail to pay the T-charge, you will be sent a penalty charge notice for £130. This will be reduced to £65 if it is paid within 14 days.


Legal issues with the T-charge

The T-charge has recently come under fire from FairFuelUK. The organisation has described the Mayor of London’s decision to implement this charge as unlawful and unfair. This is because FairFuelUK doesn’t believe that drivers should be penalised for driving older petrol and diesel cars. The campaigning organisation feels that a full public enquiry should have been carried out before the decision to roll out the T-charge was made.

FairFuelUK has now launched a crowd funding campaign to raise money for a two-part legal challenge against the T-charge. This would firstly see it ask the Mayor of London to change his mind about introducing the T-charge. Secondly, it would ask the Prime Minister and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to investigate how else London could reduce pollution.

Learning from other countries

The T-charge may seem like a harsh idea. However, examples from around the world show that Londoners could actually have it worse. Paris, for example, has banned all cars registered before 1997 from using city centre roads between 8 am and 8 pm on weekdays in a bid to reduce pollution.

Similarly, the Mayors of Mexico City, Madrid and Athens are currently looking at banning all diesel cars from their city centres by 2025.

If the T-charge is a success in London, it is thought that it will be rolled out to 25 other UK towns and cities. These include Birmingham, Nottingham, Southampton and Derby, which will start by charging older lorries, taxis and coaches by 2019.

With legal issues against the T-charge being raised before it has even been implemented, the future of the charge is far from certain. However, one thing is for sure – urgent thought needs to be put into how else pollution can be lowered in the UK’s major towns and cities, whether this has to do with penalising certain motorists or not.

What can we do to reduce pollution in our city centres without penalising motorists? Or is charging drivers based on their vehicle type the only viable solution? Leave a comment below. 



I'm Spartacus asks the question : "So when is a handgun not a handgun?"



Excerpt from Inspector Neil Billany's Letter to Helen Chapman 'Concerns on Uber not reporting serious crimes to Police' 
"On 4 March 2017 Uber have had contact from a passenger informing them of a serious incident involving Uber (and TfL licensed PHV) driver. The nature of the allegation was that during a booked journey, a road rage incident has developed between the driver and another road user. During the incident the driver has taken what the passenger believed to be a handgun from the glove box and left the vehicle to pursue the other driver on foot.
At this point the passenger has fled to vehicle in fear."

Following on from yesterday's FOI requests, I'm Spartacus asks the question :
"So when is a handgun not a handgun?"

It seems when Uber ascertains it isn’t, not the police!
That astounding & disturbing fact from the diligent & professional Inspector Billany alone warrants a revocation today let alone consideration of renewal.

Let’s put it another way:
I as a proprietor, investigates me as a driver, for ‘pulling a blade’ on a passenger... no question of a revocation as I (as a proprietor) had ascertained it was a cosh. Yeah right!

There’s a duty under the common law to assist in the apprehension of a felon.

All the rest to me just shows TfL’s obsession on how things appear... rather than doing anything about serious threats to public safety.

Any right minded citizen must be outraged.

I'm Spartacus. 



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Emails between Peter Blake, Helen Chapman And Neil Billany + 90 Pages Of Emails Between Uber And Chapman.


Can you please provide me with all email correspondence under an FOIA between the following dates and involving the following TfL staff: 1st January 2017 - 11th July 2017 (a) Peter Blake and Neil Billany (b) Helen Chapman and Neil Billany
We answered
TfL Ref: FOI-0866-1718

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 11 July 2017 asking for information about correspondence.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we hold some of the information you require. 

Please see the information you have requested attached in relation to emails exchanged between Neil Billany and Helen Chapman. Please note that we do not hold any emails exchanged between Neil Billany and Peter Blake within the time period you have specified.

For clarify, the letter in the first pdf is an attachment to an email provided on page 10 of the second pdf.

Please note that in accordance with TfL’s obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) some personal data has been removed, as required by section 40(2) of the FOI Act. This is because disclosure of this personal data would be a breach of the DPA, specifically the first principle of the DPA which requires all processing of personal data to be fair and lawful. It would not be fair to disclose this personal information when the individuals have no expectation it would be disclosed and TfL has not satisfied one of the conditions of Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act which would make the processing ‘fair’. 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed. 

Yours sincerely 

Lee Hill

Senior FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

SEE RETURNED FOI RESQUEST RESULTS, CLICK LINKS BELOW:



TAXI LEAKS EXTRA :

Could I have a copy of the letter from Ms Chapman to Uber dated 25/10/16 and then could you narrow your search to only letters and emails sent by Ms chapman and replies received from Uber since 2012 working your way forward in time until the cost threshold is reached.

Letter From Harry Wall : The Blind Leading The Blind ?



You may be aware by now that Monday's Make a Stand demo has been cancelled. I can't tell you all how choked I am but unfortunately not enough support was forthcoming.

Initially, the feeling was good but as the days went on it became apparent that feeling wasn't lasting. 

Add to that the dreadful members of our trade, only too pleased to scupper any chance of unity that might bring some semblance of hope, who played their part brilliantly and I have to congratulate them on a job well done. 

They should all be very proud of themselves.

This past 3 weeks has been an education in many ways but the main lesson I learned was that this animal is too sick to help. 

The negativity on social media has played a huge part in its failure and has been watched from around the country by those who were at first raring to stand with us regardless if they were Taxi or PH because they saw the bigger picture.

Now, 3 weeks on and after reading the comments from leading trade figures within the orgs they want nothing to do with us, can you blame them?
I can't.



We had 8 cities at one point, 8 CITIES!!

Almost over night, they all cried off.
All because of org mentality, caveman mentality and sheer ignorance.

I've learned many in this trade, including activists from all orgs and unions are riddled with insincerity and deceit and I no longer want any part of it, it shames me.

Next week TFL officially announce if Uber are licensed. If they are, the orgs will go into overdrive and scream from the rafters, "JR,JR,JR!!"
Whist watching Taxify come back on line.

If they don't get licensed the orgs will go into overdrive screaming "Look what we did! Look what we did!"
"Ain't we clever"

Then Uber will appeal and keep functioning for the duration of the appeal. During which time Taxify will come back on line, along with Via and no doubt closely followed by Lyft.

Back to square one.
"Big news Monday!"
It's the business model that's the problem, not the company.

We had our chance, we blew it thanks to us.
I tried, I failed and I'm truly sorry.

I now wash my hands of it.
Be lucky

Harry.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA COMMENT:

Nothing to be proud about!
On Monday 25th of September, the London Taxi Trade will be letting down their colleagues across the UK. 

Cabbies in Liverpool are reminded that your colleagues nationwide will be demonstrating. 

That's nationwide, except London.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Taxify hopes to get back on London roads by next week


Estonian ride-hailing startup Taxify hopes to have issues with local regulator Transport for London (TfL) resolved and restore service in the British capital by the beginning of next week at the latest.

On Sept. 8, just three days after launching its service in London, Taxify had to halt its operations there after TfL launched an investigation into the company.

It was determined that Taxify was not registered in London as a private hire vehicle operator, due to which it did not have the right to accept ride bookings.

Taxify CEO Markus Villig told ERR that preparations are underway for continuing operations in the British capital — TfL demanded additional security requirement compliance from the company, and Taxify hopes to have everything in order by the end of the week.

"Our plan is to launch sometime this or next week," he added.

The Estonian ride-hailing service has previously cited TfL's lack of interest in dialogue or offering tips to ensure their application is approved. According to Villig, the authority's attitude has not improved, but the company has reached an alternative legal solution.

"The first time they were not satisfied with the licensed business we have, but this time we found a different kind of legal solution with which we believe they will be more satisfied," Villig explained. "We're currently waiting for final approval from them so we can relaunch."

While the delay has meant additional expenses for the expansion to London, according to the CEO, the increase has been marginal in the context of the company's launch budget.

"Ultimately, what is most important for us is that [London] was our most successful launch ever for drivers and clients alike, so if we incur some additional legal fees, that isn't the main concern," said Villig. "Businesses are generally more concerned about where to find clients and drivers. In our case, thankfully, these problems have already been solved."

Expansion to Paris not to be affected

According to Villig, Taxify's planned expansion to Paris will not be affected the obstacles the company has encountered in London, as transport regulations in Paris are significantly simpler and the launch of new platforms more competition-friendly.

"Everything is going smoothly in Paris," the CEO confirmed. "Rather, we hope to receive final confirmation from London this week — then everything will be shipshape in both cities."

He noted that preparations are underway in Paris, and that there are teams on location in both cities who are working on training drivers.

When exactly Taxify can be expected to launch in Paris, however, Villig was unable to say, noting that the goal was to line up hundreds of drivers first, as Paris is such a large city to cover.

During its first three days of operation earlier this month, 3,000 drivers joined and 30,000 clients downloaded the Taxify app before the company halted operations after local regulator Transport for London had claimed that the new market entrant had failed to obtain a proper operating license.

Taxify operates in 19 countries around the world. In early August, the company announced that Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing had purchased a 13-percent holding in Taxify and would support the growth of the Estonian-developed platform in Africa and Europe.

Source: News EER. EE