Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Uber driver snared in 'sting' by rival York taxi drivers

    York Magistrates Court.

A PRIVATE hire Uber driver was caught out illegally picking up a fare in a sting set up by two rival York taxi drivers, a court heard.

One driver posed as a customer to flag down the Leeds-based Uber cab - even though private hire cars can only take pre-booked fares.

A second York driver filmed the incident on his dashcam before providing evidence to City of York Council.

Now the Uber driver, Rehan Farooq, has a criminal record and may face losing his private hire licence as a result of what happened on August 20 in Rougier Street, the court heard.

Victoria Waudby, prosecuting at York Magistrates’ Court, said one of the taxi drivers flagged down Farooq and asked him to take him as a fare.

After the Uber driver accepted the first taxi driver as a passenger, the second taxi driver filmed part of the journey.

Both taxi drivers provided evidence to City of York Council, which investigated and prosecuted Farooq for working as a taxi driver when he only had a licence to take pre-booked fares.

Mrs Waudby said of Farooq: “At the end of the journey, he was aware he was being followed and feared what was going to happen, as he didn’t know who was following him.”

Farooq, 29, of Alder Hill Grove, Meanwood, Leeds, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to operating as a taxi driver without a hackney carriage licence in Rougier Street and driving without insurance.

He was fined £200 plus a £30 statutory surcharge plus £608.34 prosecution costs and six penalty points were put on his licence.

He told the magistrates: “The guy approached me. I thought I would take him. It was a stupid mistake. I am very sorry.”

Farooq said that he had insurance generally for his car. However, he accepted that because the insurance didn’t cover him working as a taxi driver, his insurance didn’t cover him for the journey he made after he picked up the first taxi driver.

Mrs Waudby said the council received a complaint that an Uber driver had picked up a fare in Rougier Street on August 20 in a Volkswagon Passat.

The car was registered to Farooq, who was licensed to operate as a private hire driver by Leeds City Council.

Uber records showed that there was no booking for Farooq to take a passenger at the time he was carrying the taxi driver.

When he was interviewed on November 28, Farooq told a council officer he was a full-time carer for his mother and worked as a private hire driver in the evening to make ends meet.

The council has contacted Leeds City Council but the West Yorkshire authority has yet to decide if it will take action regarding Farooq’s licence, the court heard.

Comcast Boss Tells Of London Taxi Driver's Role In £22bn Sky Bid

Brian Roberts says he learned a lot about Sky’s features during chat with driver

If Comcast is successful in stealing Sky from under Rupert Murdoch’s nose, it seems a London cab driver can take some of the credit.

The Comcast chief executive, Brian Roberts, said a chat in a taxi in November helped him realise why Sky is worth the £22bn offer he has tabled

Roberts told reporters he and a colleague hailed a taxi to go to a Sky shop. “The cab driver was incredibly knowledgeable about the difference between Virgin [Media] and Sky in every feature,” he said. “We were learning a lot there.

“Then when we got to the Sky store, we spent at least an hour going through every feature and comparing it to our own ... We were really terribly impressed.”

Roberts said that while the chat was not the deciding factor in making the bid, it was “another reminder for me how impressive Sky is”.

The 58-year-old inherited the top spot at Comcast via his father, who founded it as a cable business in the 1960s, but he had to prove himself before reaching the boardroom in 2002. 

His first job involved selling TV subscriptions door to door and putting up power cables. These days he is worth almost $2bn (£1.4bn), taking home about $30m annually. 

Still, the Philadelphian makes time for sport (Comcast owns the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey team), winning a gold and four silvers for the US in squash at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Sexual Predators Pose As Uber Drivers To Attack Women, Police Say They Don't Know Why Rape Is Increasing In London.


Authorities say they are dealing with a string of sexual assault cases in which attackers pretend to be Uber drivers to lure women into their vehicles. But their statistics also includ Uber drivers, who pick up unbooked jobs, then turn off their app. 

The London Taxi trade have been warning the public and our licensing authority about fake minicab drivers for many years. They've always been out there, lined up outside popular night venues, trying to attract intoxicated young females into their cars. This situation was made worse when satellite offices were licensed by TfL, under the guise of the Safer Travel at Night (STaN) campaign. The lines of minicabs touting outside London clubs were suddenly given a cloak of respectability. 

But with the rise in minicab app use, people wanting a car stick out like a soar thumb, standing on the pavement looking at their mobile. Finding fresh victims became a lot easier for persistent predators.

But it's not just fake drivers that members of the public have to worry about. There are over 10,000 Uber drivers with fake criminal background checks who have been allowed to carry on working by TfLTPH. 

In August last year, we were told there were 13,000 Uber drivers that would 'all' have to re-submit DBS checks, TfLTPH manager Helen Chapman even went so far as to say she would vouch for all 13,000 Uber drivers, passing subsequent checks. Yet only 2,600 were rechecked by TfL. 

TfL have shown disregard for public safety and are now denying there ever was a list of 13,000. They have buried the whole episode.

And now we have news that Lyft have been in talks with TfL to bring their ride share app to London.

Just what London needs (not). More untrained, unchecked drivers following satnavs,smashing into each other, choking Londoners with their fumes and adding to congestion. Well done TfL. What ever happened to the phrase ' Duty of Care' ?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Crawley Private Hire Driver Found Guilty Of Operating Illegally.

A Crawley man has been successfully prosecuted by Mid Sussex District Council after operating illegally in the District as a private hire driver.

Mr Raja Masood from London Road in Crawley, was prosecuted for plying for hire without a Hackney licence, which meant his vehicle was uninsured. Mr Masood was found guilty on 8 January 2018 at Brighton Magistrates Court.

Mr Masood is a Private Hire driver licensed by Wealden District Council. As a private hire driver he can only take passengers that are pre-booked, otherwise he is plying for hire and his vehicle insurance would not be valid for that trip.

A Mid Sussex District Council Licensing Officer witnessed Mr Masood dropping off a customer at East Grinstead Railway Station; he then picked up another member of the public. Enquires by the Licensing Team revealed that this customer was not pre-booked.

Mr Masood was interviewed and admitted that the passenger was not pre-booked. He was prosecuted by Mid Sussex District Council, six penalty points were added to his Driving Licence and the Council was awarded total costs of £1500.

Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Community said:

“Mid Sussex Council takes passenger safety very seriously. The laws and licensing standards that we enforce are in place to ensure that passengers are safe.

“People should be aware that if they use private hire vehicles without booking in advance then the vehicle will not be insured if an accident occurs.

Each vehicle is required to have its licence on display and drivers invariably carry identification, which passengers can inspect

"Residents can help by checking the private hire vehicle they are using to make sure it is fully licensed by the District Council".

Uber Driver With Previous Conviction Was Allowed To Commit Four Sexual Offences Before Action Was Taken

It turns out the Uber driver who told a 14-year-old girl she "looked hot and had nice lips" hours after he told another female passenger he could satisfy her needs, had a previous conviction and three previous complaints for improper behaviour...a court heard.

Again we've seen Uber failing to pass on sexual complaints to either TfL or the Police. 

Spyros Ntounis, 35, slowed his car down to 5mph so he could have more time with the teenager after she used the app to book a journey home from a night out at a friend's home.

Allister Walker, prosecuting, said the driver told the girl she "looked hot and had nice lips" while driving her to Kingston-upon-Thames in southwest London.

Ntounis then gave the girl some chewing gum, before giving her his mobile number after she told him she did not have an Uber app.

The next morning Ntounis started sending WhatsApp messages to the schoolgirl asking if she was okay and offered to 'give her lessons' in anything she wanted.

Ntounis sent her messages asking when they could next meet up, then quizzed her on whether he had 'passed the age test', jurors at Kingston Crown Court heard.

The teenager showed her parents, who urged her to block him on Whatsapp and contact the police.

Ntounis, of Drayton Green Road, West Ealing, denied but was convicted of attempting to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming.

It came out in court that the driver had faced three complaints from previous female passengers.
• A woman contacted Uber after Ntounis told her he felt 'horny' on October 8, 2016.
• Another complaint was lodged in November 2016 after Ntounis started talking to a passenger about 'inappropriate things'.
• The third complaint was made on April 21 las year, just hours before Ntounis targeted the 14-year-old girl. The passenger said Ntounis asked her if he could "'satisfy her needs".

Three complaints yet Uber took no action and failed to pass on these serious complaints to TfL

Ntounis' private hire licence was only suspended as a result of the forth allegation.

Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: "It's troubling the circumstances of this offence. Particularly considering I heard about his previous behaviour in his Uber car that the jury didn't hear about.

"His service was dispensed with by Uber but again, only after the three complaints by ladies about his conversation in the car."

How was this driver licensed by TfL with a previous conviction?
Was he one of Helen Chapman's 13,000 Uber drivers with fake DBS checks swept under TFL's carpet?

Ntounis previous conviction of dishonesty was from October 2014, for which he was handed a 12 month suspended sentence for 24 months, but was still given a TfL licence???

Judge Lamb bailed Ntounis ahead of sentence on March 19 but said: "You have been convicted by a jury, I need a report from you.

"I will give you your liberty this time but I wouldn't assume that because I let you go today that you have avoided a custodial sentence. Could be prison in four weeks."

Inspector Jas Sandhu, Met's Roads and Transport Policing Command said: "The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will not tolerate any offences committed upon passengers of private hire vehicles and will robustly pursue offenders. Bit late though as this was his second conviction and had three complaints for sexual harassment.  

"Thanks to the actions by the latest victim and her family instigating the Met's investigation, a dangerous individual's actions have been stopped from going any further."

Siwan Hayward, Transport for London's Head of Transport Policing, said: "We take all allegations against licensed Taxi and Private Hire drivers extremely seriously and as soon as we were made aware of this offence we suspended this driver's licence immediately.

Siwan, this driver should have never been licensed in the first place, this was a  result of scandalous inadequate performance by TfL !

"As this case shows, reporting any behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable is very important. It will be taken seriously (eventually) and by working closely with the police we will fully investigate all allegations, bring offenders to justice and push for the toughest penalties possible."

Four complaints were made to Uber yet they took no action against their driver. The action was only taken when a complaint was made to the police.

EXCLUSIVE : Putting To Bed The Rumours About Rotherhithe Tunnel And Albert Bridge Restrictions In Regards To Taxis... By Jim Thomas.

Recent email updates from TfL have been unclear (there's a surprise). People who have signed up for the TfL service, were given the news that any vehicle over the width of two meters (six foot six inches or 78 inches in old money) were not allowed to use the Rotherhithe Tunnel and if you do, you could wind up with a £50 fine or prosecution. 

The TX4 with a width of 80.2 inches, and the new LEVC TX standing at 80.16 inches, puts both vehicles outside the width restriction.

The update does not specify if Taxis (TX4/MetroCab/Vito/TXe) are banned or are exempt!

After tweets were made by drivers last night that Taxis could no longer use the Tunnel, we have been reliably informed by the TfLTPH account that Taxis can use the Tunnel. 

We took the trouble to remind the TfL account that the TX4 is in fact 80.2 inches wide and the new TXe was 80.16 wide, and have since received this Tweet.

Taxi Leaks Suggestion :
It would be helpful if TfL amend their webpage and resend another update, confirming this information. 

After being informed that Taxi garages were told before they can carry out servicing on the new TXe, they have to go to the added expenses of changing their inspection ramps to a 4 ton baseless model.

It was mentioned on Twitter yesterday, that the new TXe from LEVC may in fact be too heavy for the weight limit for vehicles using Albert Bridge.

Some of you may remember the over zealous traffic cop who was writing tickets out to Taxis going over Albert bridge, saying that by having passengers, they were exceeding the weight limit. 

We can now confirm Albert Bridge was strengthened by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 2011, with the weight limit increased to 3 ton. 

This has also been confirmed on the TfLTPH Twitter account. 

It may be wise to keep a copy of these tweets for future reference, incase we come up against another over zealous traffic cop!

Addison Lee Tells Mayor Congestion Charge For PHVs But Not Black Cabs Is "Anti-Competitive"

The boss of Addison Lee has written to Sadiq Khan, calling to maintain the congestion charge exemption for private hire vehicles. He said removing it will damage drivers earnings and reduce their ability to be competitive.

In the wake of their near billion pound deficit, Transport for London are considering dropping the congestion charge exemption for private hire vehicles. Last week, TfL set out a new plan of action, for ways to improve regulation for the industry including forcing firms like Uber to share their data. (Giving a strong indication that cash strapped TfL intend to relicense the instant hire app sooner rather than later)

Addison Lee say hitting private hire vehicles with the congestion charge, will represent a cost to the industry of approximately £250 per driver per month. 

The company is also critical of a situation where the exemption is removed for private hire vehicles but not for black cabs....saying that would be "anti-competitive".

Andy Boland, the firm's chief executive, said:

Private hire vehicles play a vital role in helping to move millions of people safely around the capital each day - they are particularly important to certain groups such as vulnerable adults, as TfL noted in its policy statement on private hire only this month – and I can therefore see no possible reason why private hire vehicles should be treated any differently from taxis with respect to the congestion charge.

Boland said levying the charge on private hire vehicles was "a blunt instrument" that would knock investment, distort competition and hurt drivers "to the detriment of passengers and the travelling public". 

He went on to say levying the charge works against TfL's own policy goals and will do nothing for the environment. 

“Given the competitive nature of the market, fares would be unlikely to rise to reflect any imposition of the congestion charge, the charge would have to be met from the drivers earnings. There would therefore be no change in demand and no improvement to the environment,” Boland said.

Addison Lee said the industry was highly competitive, and innovative with businesses investing in cleaner vehicles. However, the company said it operates against "a backdrop of a marketplace in which some participants have pursued a policy of growing market share by offering fares substantially below cost". (Whoever do they mean???)

It said those which have subsidised fares will most likely absorb the costs to hoover up greater market share and keep fares "artificially low", and to stay competitive in such a scenario, the likes of Addison Lee will have to pass the cost onto drivers. That will a consideral hit on their drivers' earnings.

A mayoral spokesperson said: 

The mayor and TfL are keeping user charging schemes, including the congestion charge under review to ensure they are as effective as they can be.

As part of this TfL are currently undertaking further analysis on the impact of removing the exemption from the congestion charge for private hire vehicles.

London Assembly Liberal Democrat member Caroline Pidgeon said: “The growth in private hire vehicles has contributed to the growth in congestion in many parts of London and a range of policies are needed to address that.

“One area where immediate action must be taken is much firmer action against private hire vehicles which misuse their congestion charge exemption.

It is widely believed that many commuters have registered their cars as private hire vehicles with the sole intention of avoiding the congestion charge.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Geely: London black cabs maker sees shares surge after buying $9bn stake in Daimler

Geely's shares jumped on Monday after its chairman Li Shufu revealed he had built a $9bn (£6.4bn) stake in Daimler - giving him major leverage as he attempts to persuade the German carmaker to cooperate on tech.

The 9.7 per cent holding makes Li Daimler’s biggest shareholder and puts the owner of Mercedes-Benz in a quandary as it already has a partnership with China’s BAIC Motor Corporation, with the two unveiling a plant investment of almost $2bn on the weekend.

Li is expected to meet Daimler executives in Stuttgart on Monday and hopes to meet top German officials in Berlin. Germany has said there is no need to take action on the stake owned by Li.

Geely’s stock surged 8 per cent, buoyed by hopes of access to Daimler’s technology which would help it compete in a fast-shifting market being disrupted by electric cars and autonomous driving.

Its parent Zhejiang Geely Holding said on Saturday there were no plans to raise the stake “for the time being”.

Geely has been expanding rapidly. The parent firm owns Volvo Cars, LEVC, the maker of London’s black cabs, and last year took a majority stake in sports car maker Lotus, a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysian carmaker Proton, a $3.3bn stake in Volvo Trucks and control of flying car start-up Terrafugia.

Among the 36 analysts that cover Geely, the average rating on the shares is “buy” with 27 recommending “strong buy” or “buy”.

Source Independent

As Even More New Comers Queue, Ready To Join The Ever Increasing Number Of TfL PH Operators, Are TfL Fit And Proper To Regulate ?

In the wake of losing the employment tribunal, it's been alleged that the court's verdict could well see an end to Addison Lee's operation in London. Leaving their market share to newcomers, who are currently queuing up at ‘strapped for cash’ TfL for Operator Licenses.

European minicab app Taxify, were forced out of the UK PH market in September last year, after trying to squeeze it's way in the side door on the back of an operator already licensed (they lasted just 3 days). In December the company pleaded guilty to operating without a minicab licence, leading it to be fined £250 and pay TfL’s £10,000 legal fees.

Now Taxify are plotting a return to the London market place with a head on challenge to Uber.

Taxify, who currently operate in 26 countries across Europe, Africa and Australia, put in a 160 page application for a private hire licence with Transport for London (TfL) earlier this month, even though they were refused a license last year, but that was before TfL realised how skint they are! And they have since apologised, Uber fashion.

If successful, it will mark the latest entry into the competitive London 'transport' market, which has been recently shaken up by a string of tech companies.
It seems every Tom Dick and Dara are queuing up to take a bite out of the Taxi Trade in London as TfL prove to be no more than a lame dog. 

Also in September 2017, TfL were exposed by Andrew Gilligan in the Sunday Times, in regards to 13,000 Uber drivers with unsafe DBS checks. But now after failing to bring these drivers to book, they are flatly denying this was/is the case and have come out with a laughable statement that it was only ever 2,600 which needed to reapply.

See Andrew Gilligans full Sunday Times article, click here...

Everyday, drivers report illegal signage on minicabs, 

Seen Broad Santuary Thursday 23Feb 10:30pm

Misuse of Taxi ranks and disabled bays by aggressive Private Hire drivers is wide spread.... and now we have word that one company is looking to put a out a fleet of cars with the name "Taxi" emblazoned on the side.

Spotted along with a dozen others, in a yard on Fluer De Lis Street E1

Yet when it comes to Taxis with news papers on the rear shelf, or over ranking at stations, all hell breaks loose and they come down on us with the full force of legislative powers. 

We still have TfLTPH PCOs overstepping their power, frequently stopping legitimate Taxis from working. 

TfL have shown big time they can’t hack it and are not willing to take on all comers....just us!

Is it time this licensing authority was completely replace by a more effective body?
Staffed by officers who show common sense?
Something sadly missing presently at TfLTPH.

TfL have been caught lying on numerous occasions to protect Uber. 
• Leon (the liar) Daniels told the GLA transport committee "Uber has a landline number".
It didn't, so TfL changed the regulation that insists all operators have to have a landline. 

• Leon (the liar) Daniels told the GLA (on another occasion) that Uber drivers have an on/off insurance policy.
It doesn't exsist, so TfL proceeded to licence Uber Cars without full documentation at time of licensing.

• The legislation insists all private hire bookings must first go through an operator before offered to the driver.
Uber have admitted twice on oath in court that their drivers are offered the jobs. Uber then backfill the details.
TfL knew this but as with the 13,000 fake DBS checks swept it under their carpet and allowed Uber to continue to operate.

The consequence of TFL's failure to regulate as pre legislation and regulation has put the public in grave danger over the last 6 years. TFL's Commisioner, Directors and Managers should all be held responsible for any member of the public injured, attacked, assaulted defrauded etc.

Up to December last year, Uber increased its work force to 63,656 drivers, an increase of 50% since their licence renewal was refused!

Two less this morning After this horrendous crash in Park Lane. Watching the SatNav instead of the road. Passengers had to be cut out of the black a Uber. 
Another disaster from TfL who dropped the advanced driving test for prospective private hire drivers.

Fact...After being found guilty and fined, Taxify now have a criminal record!
It will be interesting to see if TfL licence this company in spite of their criminal record...!


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Licensed Private Hire, Ride Share And Now Taxi Buses....Everyone Wants A Piece Of Our Action.

When is a bus not a bus? When it only seats eight people and changes its route on demand.

Journey planner app Citymapper is extending its reach on London's roads with the launch of a service somewhere between a bus and a taxi. It's been dubbed Smart Ride.
However, this wasn't the company's intent. Citymapper wanted to launch a "responsive", "smart" bus, but Transport for London (TfL) regulations limit its buses to "dumb", unchanging routes and restrict its on-demand services to a van — with Omid Ashtari, president and head of business at Citymapper, suggesting those rules hinder innovation.

"We don't see enough encouraging frameworks that allow private entrants to actually play in this field," he says. "I don't want to single out TfL here — it's a global phenomenon. There's a clear distinction between what cabs can do and what buses can do… currently the cab frameworks are the easiest way."

Ticket to Smart Ride
Citymapper says the regulations it faces have led to the mutant Smart Ride, a bus service using a van that operates like a ride-hailing app limited to a specific catchment area. So rather than go stand at a bus stop and wait for one to trundle by, travellers book a seat in a Smart Ride vehicle at a specific time along a route shown in the Citymapper app. "Think of it as a bus, because it has stops and can be shared, but think of it as a cab, because you can book it as close as possible to you on the network," Ashtari says.

The not-a-bus is an eight-seater Mercedes-Benz Viano, with rear seats arranged facing each other to encourage social interaction, Ashtari says — suggesting a surprising lack of understanding of how silently Londoners commute. 

While there's space for guide dogs, the vans are not otherwise accessible for disabled people and drivers aren't trained to offer such assistance. "We're working on ways to make this accessible too, but it isn't available off the bat," says Ashtari, noting the larger buses Citymapper wanted to use are designed for accessibility.

So far, the coverage area is limited to one small slice of the capital's centre, from Waterloo to Clerkenwell, conveniently taking in Citymapper's headquarters. (Ashtari says his staff want to try the not-a-bus, but are "a little bit lazy".) The route will change depending on requirements, but stick to a specific network of roads, in response to "demand fluctuation throughout the day", Ashtari says. "We have a lot of dynamic information about the city's pulse… the network could evolve through the day or week."

For the first week, the rides are free. Ashtari would not reveal the final price, but said it would cost — in fitting with the entire idea — something between a bus ticket and a cab fare. A single ride on a public bus would cost £1.50; a cab from the company's office to the centre of Clerkenwell would cost about £10.

See full article on Apple News- WIRED UK

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Uber Finances Spiralling Out Of Control, As They Show A Loss Of $4.5 billion In 2017

Uber trumpeted its Q4/2017 financial statements as evidence of the company's progress towards CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's goal of profitability and IPO by 2019; the company argued that despite losing $4.5 billion in 2017, its cust-cutting in the final quarter of the year was proof that they would eventually go from losing money on each ride to actually earning money.  

But a closer examination of the figures shows that nothing of the sort is going on. The company's cost-cutting came mostly in the form of cuts to driver compensation, taking $2.2 billion out of drivers' pockets, meaning that Uber drivers are increasingly losing money with every drive (something that isn't apparent until you factor in the capital costs borne by drivers).

Uber drivers can drive for other companies, or get other jobs (that's key to Uber's claim that its drivers aren't employees, without which the company would be unambiguously doomed); its rival Lyft is happy to go on paying drivers more (for now), and drivers have already shown that it's pretty easy to ditch the platform, create their own app, and pocket 25% more than the company will pay them.

So Uber's already losing drivers, and also they lost $4.6 billion -- and to become profitable, they'll have to find another $4.6 billion in cost-cutting, which is unlikely to come from drivers, whom they're actually going to have to start paying more if they want to continue to have cars on the street.

For Uber to find an additional $4.6b/year in savings, there would have to be some indication that their costs were actually going down with scale.....They're not. 

Insurance, a major cost to Uber, is rising linearly with revenue. Other costs have gone down thanks to deep cuts: 
Operations, Sales and Marketing, Research and Development, and General and Administration. 

Unless the company starts spending more on these, they will not continue to grow, and thus will continue to lose billions.

What's more, Uber's figures are totally untrustworthy. Every financial report from Uber picks a different set of accounting practices, selected to cast their dismal finances in the best possible light (and even with that cherry-picking, Uber is still losing $4.5B/year!). So things are likely much, much worse.

As ever, Hubert Horan is the best source on Uber Financial Kremlinology; since I wrote about his initial five deep dives in 2016, he's written eight more -- the latest one is where I found about about these balance-sheet shenanigans.

All previous releases of Uber revenue data were limited to the top-line “Gross passenger payments” (the total money paid by passengers) and “Uber revenue”, the 20-30% of that total retained by Uber. In past analysis, I had assumed that the difference went almost entirely to drivers, but the newly released data shows this assumption is not true, and that Uber may be inflating the top-line revenue number.

In 2017, roughly $3 billion of this revenue was “Refunds, Taxes and Fees” or “Rider Promotions.” Government charges and fares that are refunded should not have been included in the original gross revenue number. The “Rider Promotions” item is more problematic.

If Uber offered discounts, the higher fare (that the passenger did not pay) appears to be included in gross revenue, while the promotional discount is a separate offset.

These numbers do not affect bottom line P&L calculations, but inflating the top-line gross revenue number directly supports Uber’s desire to show the strongest possible passenger demand numbers. 

Uber has steadfastly refused to release any numbers (such as market-specific fare and yield trends) that would meaningfully document whether (or where) its revenue performance might actually be improving.

£250k Lamborghini supercar slams into London cab after mishap saw it ‘roll across car park’

A LONDON cabbie was left unable to pick up fares today after his taxi was pranged by a £250k Lamborghini.

The unmanned supercar ploughed into the taxi rank at London's St Pancras station after the handbrake came loose this afternoon.

The unmanned Lambo rolled into St Pancras station's taxi rank this afternoon
The ultra-rare Aventador wedged itself under the taxi's wheel arch as it rolled backwards at 1mph.

With the 217mph supercar's owner nowhere to be seen, the cabbie was left wondering when he would be able to pick up his next fare.

Eyewitness Seamus O'Brien said: "The Lamborghini had been there for at least half an hour before I arrived.

"The taxi driver had tried to find out who owned it and all the doors were unlocked as someone opened the passenger door and it just sprung open.

Statement From City of London In Regards To London Bridge Closures And Temporary Re Open Of The Bank Eastbound.

Due to emergency gas works on London Bridge, we are temporarily allowing all traffic to travel eastbound on Queen Victoria Street through Bank junction. 

But this is just a temporary measure and under constant review. 

Follow diversions and please be extra vigilant.

For more information about the situation in the City of London click link below -

Friday, February 23, 2018

In An Act Of Appeasement Uber Closes London Licence Loophole

Minicab drivers licensed in London will no longer be able to drive for Uber in Brighton. The US company is to make changes to its app next month, in a bit to appease TfL.

Too Little, Too a Late ???

The multinational company announced last week that it was splitting the UK into different regions, and that drivers would only be able to use the app within the region their licensing authority was located from March 14.

Brighton is part of the south coast region, which means drivers from immediately neighbouring authorities, such as Lewes and Adur, will be able to drive in the city – but those licensed with TfL won’t. The latest available figures from TfL indicate that 78 drivers are licensed in London but have Brighton and Hove addresses.

But local union bosses say the changes have been made to pre-empt changes in the law preventing any cross-border hiring – which they are still pushing for.

Andy Peters, secretary of GMB’s Brighton and Hove taxi branch, said:  “Although we will no longer see cars from Wolverhampton or Sefton working in Brighton,  at the moment there is no specific detail on how big this region is.

“All the TfL ph drivers who live in Brighton and predominantly work in the city because they either failed the high standards that the city requires or who just could not be bothered to even attempt to go for a Brighton licence will only be able to work in London.

The question is why has Uber suddenly taken this change in direction? Is there something that Uber knows will be happening in the future with regard to cross border hiring?

“Uber has not done this as a favour. This is not how Uber works. Is this a case of Uber becoming scared of what the Local Government Association has been pushing for and trying to act quickly before there is a change in legislation?

“However this does not go far enough  because it doesn’t matter whether a private hire is working predominantly in Brighton and Hove from over 250 miles away or just 50. The fact is that Uber is still encouraging private hire vehicles to predominantly work in areas that they are not licensed in.

“This announcement should not make people think it is all over as it certainly is not. Do not be fooled by Uber. The fight goes on to fully change legislation.”

In its announcement, Uber said: “While cross-border driving is something the law allows for and is common in private hire journeys across England and Wales, we’ve heard from local licensing authorities that the way our app works can make it hard for them to oversee what some drivers are doing in their jurisdiction.

“That’s why next month we are making a significant change which will mean drivers will only be able to use our app within the region where they are licensed as a private hire driver.

“While we will of course keep everything under review we believe this change strikes the right balance for the drivers, riders and cities we serve.

“It will help local licensing authorities tackle the challenge they currently face in regulating drivers in their area when they are licensed in another part of the country; passengers will still be able to take affordable long distance trips (such as to and from airports, hospitals or back home after a night out in the city centre); and drivers will be able to carry out those longer trips without being forced to drive back without a fare paying passenger.”

According to the latest figures from TfL, there are a total of 78 private hire drivers licensed to drive in London whose registered address has a BN1, BN2 or BN3 postcode. Under the new Uber rules, these drivers will no longer be able to use the Uber app in Brighton and Hove.

A further 14 are licensed taxi drivers, but these will be black cab drivers who work in the capital.

Source Brighton and Hove News.