Monday, April 23, 2018

UPDATED: Brighton and Hove Licensing Panel Considers Uber Relicensing In All Day Meeting.

An all-day meeting of the Brighton and Hove city council licensing committee has heard from taxi and Privat hire companies who want Uber’s Licence revoked because it is not “fit and proper.”

Customers speaking in support of the ride-hailing app praised its convenience and user-friendliness. Well they would, they don't care about safety or regulation....they just want cheap.

But opponents have cited a data breach and a lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles as reasons to pull the licence, which was first granted in November 2015. Also to be mentioned is the fact that Uber allows 13,000 of its London drivers to carry on working, knowing they've had fake criminal record checks and many have had fake medicals. Uber rapes by drivers on passengers were up last year by 50% to over one a week.

Chairwoman Cllr Jacqui O’Quinn told the meeting that under current cross-boarder regulations, even if the council revokes the licence, Uber drivers licensed elsewhere will still be entitled to operate in the city.

After lunch Uber barrister Philip Kolvin said the company was not trying was not trying to “skirt round” the city’s regulations. Makes a change from their normal policy of "it's easier to seek forgiveness than permission". 

He said Uber had regionalised its business and prevented London-licensed drivers from operating in the city. But speaking to local drivers, his is far from the truth as TfL roundels can be spotted daily on many vehicles working the Uber app.

Uber have tried bribing their drivers, offering them up to £1,000 to switch from a London licence to a Brighton licence. 

The company said they could have 20 wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) by the time it has 100 drivers here. It currently has only has 62 with WAVs few and far between.

A decision will be announced on Wednesday.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT. 

It's been inferred by supporters of the non domicile, non UK Taxi paying company that the three councillors on the panel are unqualified to sit in judgement as none of these ladies have the app, or have ever used the services of Uber.

All we can say is, if that is the case...then these three ladies are truly very wise. Surely their wisdom and neutrality makes them perfect for the job

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tilehurst Private Hire Company Fined For Operating In Reading Using Vito With Expired Transport For London Roundels

A Tilehurst Privat Hire company has been heavily fined for breaking the rules.

In a routine inspection, licensing officers spotted a silver Mercedes Vito operating as a school transport vehicle outside The Holy Brook School in Ashampstead Road, Southcote.

On closer inspection, the officers realised the car was displaying an expired Transport for London private hire vehicle licence roundel.

The operation, carried out by Reading Borough Council's licensing officers and legal team, then managed to track down the offenders.

The men responsible have both been slapped with fines for breaking the rules at separate hearings in Reading Magistrates Court.

Anthony Roe, 51, of Lower Armour Road, Tilehurst, the operator of 1st Class Cars, was found guilty in his absence of operating a private hire vehicle without a current licence, during a hearing on Monday, April 9.

He was fined £800 and ordered to pay legal costs of £1,500 and an £80 victim surcharge.

Clarence Harry, 63, of Halls Road, Tilehurst, Berkshire, the driver of the Mercedes Vito, appeared before magistrates on Thursday, April 12, and was found guilty of driving/plying for hire without a licence.

He was fined £120 and ordered to pay legal costs of £120 and a £30 victim surcharge.

The council's licensing officers are regularly out and about in the borough carrying out checks on private hire vehicles, their drivers for the safety of all their customers.

Sunday Special Report: We've All Heard Of Uber's GreyBall Program, But What Actually Is It


Greyball is a software tool used by the ride-hailing service Uber to identify and deny service to certain riders, including riders who Uber suspects of violating its terms of service. 

Uber's use of Greyball was made public in a March 3, 2017, investigative report by The New York Times, which described how, as early as 2014, Uber had used Greyball to evade local government authorities in the United States, Australia, South Korea, and China. In the days following the publication of the New York Times story, Uber admitted that it had used Greyball to thwart government regulators and it promised to stop using the tool for that purpose.

Uber reportedly developed Greyball to identify individuals who Uber suspected of using its service improperly, and it began using the tool as early as 2014. According to Uber, Greyball can "hide the standard city app view for individual riders, enabling Uber to show that same rider a different version." Uber claimed that it used Greyball to deny service to individuals suspected of violating the company's terms of services, such as people seeking to harm Uber drivers, disrupt Uber operations, or carry out law enforcement actions against Uber drivers. However, after The New York Times revealed Greyball's existence in March 2017, Uber said it would stop using it to evade local government regulators.

According to the New York Times report, which was based on interviews of four current and former Uber employees and a review of internal Uber documents, Greyball used several methods to identify and deny service to government officials who were investigating Uber for violations of local laws. Those methods included:
* Geofencing. Uber would create a digital map that identified the locations of city government offices. If a potential rider attempted to hail a ride from the area around a government building, Greyball would flag the individual as a possible law enforcement agent.
* Mining credit card databases. If Uber identified a credit card as being associated with a government agency or police union, it would flag that individual in Greyball. 
* Identifying devices. Since government agencies would often buy cheap cellphones for use in sting operations, Uber employees would visit electronics stores to obtain model numbers for inexpensive phones and input those model numbers into Greyball. 
* Searches of social media. Uber employees searched social media profiles to identify possible law enforcement agents. Uber then flagged those individuals in Greyball. 
* Eyeballing. Greyball would determine if a potential rider had been opening and closing the Uber app numerous times without calling for a ride.

In May 2017, several news organizations reported that the United States Department of Justice had opened a criminal investigation into Uber's use of Greyball to avoid local law enforcement operations.

Transport for London (TfL) cited use of Greyball in London as one of the reasons for its decision not to renew Uber's private hire operator licence. The decision states that the way in which Uber uses Greyball contributes to it failing to meet the standards of a "fit and proper" private hire operator. 

Consequently, Uber would not be able to operate legally in London after its licence expired on 30 September 2017 unless they entered an appeal within 21 days. Uber challenged the ban in court and are currently still working even though they've been cited as not fit and proper by the licensing authority. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Uber CEO Had Secret Meeting With Mike Brown In January According to FOI Request

LONDON (Reuters) - London’s Transport Commissioner Mike Brown met Uber [UBER.UL]boss Dara Khosrowshahi in January, a freedom of information request revealed, as the Silicon Valley app fights to keep its cars on the streets of its most important European market.

Uber is battling a decision by the city’s transport regulator last September to strip it of its licence after it was deemed unfit to run a taxi service, a ruling Uber is appealing.

Since then Uber has made a series of changes to its business model, responding to requests from regulators, including the introduction of 24/7 telephone support and the proactive reporting of serious incidents to London’s police.

Khosrowshahi flew to London in October for discussions with Brown after which Uber promised to make things right in the British capital city.

The pair had a second meeting in London in January, according to a response to a freedom of information request from Reuters.

“The Commissioner met with Dara Khosrowshahi on 3 October 2017 and 15 January 2018, both meetings took place in London,” Transport for London (TfL) said.

A TfL spokesman declined to provide an immediate comment on what was discussed at the meeting. Uber declined to comment.

Reuters had asked for a list of every meeting which had taken place between Uber and TfL’s private hire team and/or Brown since Sept. 22 but TfL declined to release such details.

“We are not obliged to supply the remainder of the information requested in relation to meetings as it ... relates to information where disclosure would be likely to prejudice the exercise by any public authority of its functions ..,” it said.

A court hearing over Uber’s appeal is due this month before the substance of the appeal is heard in June.


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

So we have the commissioner of TfL refusing to meet with representatives from the licensed Taxi Trade for 8 months. When he finally did, he said they couldn't discuss Uber as they are appealing TFL's licensing decision, and it would be sub judice. 

But apparently it's OK for this commissioner to have two secret sessions with Uber's CEO...and that not sub judice?

We keep being told that Mike Brown is on side.....but the burning question has to be.....who's side???


After this latest outrage, shouldn't our trade leaders be kicking down Mike Brown's door on Monday morning ??? 

Uber To Hand Over London Customer Data To TfL In Peace Offering


Nobody likes to think their data is being harvested by a third party company, but now in the wake of Cambridge Analytica's expose with Facebook, we find that Uber have been collating data from its users for many years. 

In a bid to curry favour with the licensing authority after the rejection of their licence application to continue in London....Uber are offering to grant TfL access to the wealth of data it holds on the capital’s transport networks.

This is the latest conciliatory step the $80bn (£57bn) app has taken since it was stripped of its London licence six months ago following a string of alleged illegal activities and safety failings, including failing to report drivers to police after complaints of rape and sexual assault, allowing the predator drivers to strike again and again.

Uber said the data, which covers 50,000 drivers in the capital, could be used to help urban planning as London groans under the weight of the growing congestion blamed on internet shopping delivery vans, ride share apps and segregated bicycle lanes.

Since being stripped of its licence back in September last year and ousting its founder Travis Kalanick in the summer, Uber purports to have launched a series of bids to clean up its act, including capping drivers’ working hours and cracking down on drivers using the app in cities where they are not licensed.

Unfortunately the geofencing they say they've imposed, isn't strictly based on the boundaries of the Greater Metropolitan area of their licence. Corridors have been added which extend to places such as Gatwick, Luton, Stanstread and Southend Airports.

Uber Britannia Limited's app tracks millions of journeys via smartphone GPS sensors, which the company says gives it a unique perspective on driving patterns in cities. It's also been alleged that Uber have carried on tracking celebrity customers after the journey's completion. 

Uber's peace offering say's their data will show regulators how journey times change at different times and days, as well as seeing how one-off events such as bridge closures have affected travel times.

The company's replacement for Jo Bertram, Fred Jones said: “Under Uber’s new leadership we want to be a better partner to city planners and regulators.” Well they would say that, they want their licence renewed. Uber have always had the policy, 'it's easier to seek forgiveness than permission'.
A TfL spokesman said: “We welcome any move that has the potential to provide a greater insight into how people move around London.”

Uber will continue to operate in the capital while it challenges the ban. The appeal is due to be heard in June and may be dragged out for years if the company continues to fight through the courts. 

Even though TfL are in possession of evidence that would see Uber closed down completely, their legal team don't appear to have the appetite to take on the £57bn company, with latest discretions swept under the carpet and kept out of the media.

Uber have said they would prefer to reach an agreement with Tfl instead of fighting through the courts, and last year they flew their new chief executive (Dara Khosrowshahi) to London for cosy talks with TfL commissioner Mike Brown.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

News From Unite Union Cab Section... Uber Illegally Granted A Booking Office Licence In Glasgow.


Yesterday at the Burgh Court, Uber Scot Ltd was illegally granted a Booking Office Licence, in breach of the The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Booking Offices) Order 2009. 

In an assault on the democratic process, the Licensing and Regulatory Committee, advised by Licensing Solicitor, Mairi Millar, refused to hear three objections from Unite the Union Cab Section, Glasgow Taxis Ltd, and Greater Glasgow Private Hire Association. Objections were late as the statutory notice was only viewable on the door of 69 Buchanan St for 21 days. The notice was not in the print media, not on the GCC website, in fact it had no online presence anywhere. It was preposterous to expect anyone to notice an A4 sheet on the door of an inconspicuous office building on a pedestrianised shopping thoroughfare.

Despite objections being late, Glasgow City Council Licensing & Regulatory Committee has at its discretion the power to hear late submissions. All three objectors were only allowed to give the reasons why the objections were late, but forbidden from mentioning reasons for objecting. Glasgow Taxis Ltd Solicitor, Tom McIntaggart, put up an extremely convincing argument for hearing the objections, citing examples where GCC Licensing had accepted late objections in the past. 

Councillors who voted against hearing our objections and denied us the right to be heard were as follows:

Baillie John Kane, Scottish Labour Party, Govan (5)

Baillie Hanif Raja, Scottish Labour Party, Pollokshields (6)

Cllr Aileen McKenzie, Scottish Labour Party, Springburn/Robroyston (17)

Cllr Robert Connelly, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Calton.

Those councillors that believed in the democratic process and wanted to hear our objections were as follows:

Cllr Rhiannon Spear, Scottish National Party, Greater Pollok (3).

Cllr Graham Campbell, Scottish National Party, Springburn/Robroyston (17).

Gary Gray, Scottish Labour Party, Canal (16).

Special mention to Cllr Rhiannon Spear who made clear her concerns over aspects of Uber’s operation and was clearly unhappy with what transpired.

Just to recap, all traditional taxi and private hire companies in Glasgow are registered at their respective licensed premises in Glasgow for the booking, dispatch and payment of fares. This means that they are within the jurisdiction of Scottish law enforcement and the Scottish legal system. It also means that they are subject to UK tax and VAT.

Uber is the exception. Glasgow work is dispatched from Uber BV in the Netherlands, trip data is recorded by Uber BV in the Netherlands, payment is taken by Uber BV in the Netherlands, and a receipt is issued by Uber BV in the Netherlands. Glasgow City Council yesterday licensed a sham booking office that attempts to legitimise dispatch of work from an unlicensed foreign company, Uber BV. 

Yesterday Uber’s Solicitor pointed to 4 million trips taken in Glasgow since it started. Some crude arithmetic based on an average of £5 per trip:

4M x £5 = £20M
Uber’s cut (25%) after drs are paid =£5M

UK Corporation tax @21% on £5M ~£1M+

UK VAT @20% on £20M = £4M

So, with what we admit are very crude workings, Uber has avoided UK tax and VAT in the region of £5M in Glasgow alone, in the 30 months it has been operating. That is starving the public purse of much needed revenue for schools, hospitals, housing etc. Glasgow City Council Licensing not only had solid legal grounds to reject Uber’s application, it also had a strong moral case to reject it. 

Don’t take our word for Uber’s illegal operation in Glasgow. At the November, 2017, Joint Taxi and Private Hire Trade Meeting, GCC Licensing Solicitor, Mairi Millar, stated that Uber Britannia Ltd did not satisfy the criteria to hold a Booking Office licence. Well the Licensing Solicitor can now make that two illegal booking offices ‘operational’ in Glasgow now.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
To be honest, this hasn't come as a huge surprise, but what we actually find surprising, is the fact that our Unions, Taxi associations and representative groups seem to sit back and just accept these illegal Uber licenses !!!

MEANWHILE HERE IN LONDON :


Wonder if the City of London or TfL would care to comment on this 
😂😂😂😂😂


ComfortDelGro acquires London taxi circuit operator Dial-a-Cab for £1.2 million


Com Cab owners ComfortDelGro, have acquired London taxi circuit operator Dial-a-Cab's business and assets for £1.2 million, the company announced on Thursday (Apr 19). 

The deal was undertaken by ComfortDelGro's wholly owned subsidiary in the UK CityFleet Networks. 

ComfortDelGro's managing director and group CEO Yang Ban Seng said the acquisition will "enable the Group to grow and strengthen its position as the leading taxi circuit operator in London through an expansion of the customer and driver base".

Radio taxi circuits are operators of a door-to-door transportation service that uses London's black cabs.

Currently, ComfortDelGro is the largest taxi circuit operator in London with around 1,900 London taxis. The acquisition will add about 1,100 black cabs to bring the total fleet to 3,000.

Mr Yang also added that London Councils and Transport for London recently awarded CityFleet the Taxicard and Dial-A-Ride contract for another three years, with an option for a fourth. 

Taxicard is the largest public sector day-to-day transport service in London for passengers with serious mobility impairments or who are severely sight impaired. 

CityFleet has held this contract over several decades through its taxi subsidiary Computer Cab. 


DELETE UBER 

In Singapore, Taxi giant ComfortDelGro told its cabbies to delete the Uber app on their phones, following the American ride-hailing firm's sale of its South-east Asian business to rival Grab on March 26.

Publicly listed ComfortDelGro, in a text message to its estimated 23,000 hirer-drivers, said: "Dear cabbies, UberFlash will cease on April 8 2018. You may delete the Uber driver app any time now since it will no longer be in use. ComfortDelGro will continue to provide you jobs... We thank you for your continued support.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 

So, ComCab will be adding another 1,100 vehicles to their fleet. Dial a Cab have ceased trading as their work has allegedly dried up. 

I wonder how ComCab drivers feel about having their existing work spread over a 30% expansion of its work force. 


THE HIDDEN COSTS OF OWNING AN ELECTRIC CAR - SO IS IT REALLY CHEAPER THAN A PETROL OR DIESEL?


As electric vehicles rise in popularity, so does the price to run one - and motorists are being hit with extra charges

DRIVING an electric car might seem like a cheaper option, but drivers are being hit with hidden costs as the motors become more popular.

The number of electric vehicles on British roads has risen by 33 per cent in the last year, but that’s been matched by a hike in charging costs

The majority of public charging points no longer offer free electricity, with plug-in drivers now forced to fork out for monthly subscriptions to power up their motors.

In some cases, drivers can expect to pay as much as £17 per month subscription in addition to charging fees.

According to a study by What Car?, the cost to charge a Renault Zoe ZE40 to 80 per cent varied largely depending on location.

They found motorists could pay as much as £17.46 to use a Source London Flexi – fast (7.4 kW) charging station, or as little as £7.70 for a Polar Instant – fast (7.2 kW) charger

The price to charge an electric car also varied depending on whether or not there was a registration fee, and whether the cost was charged by monthly subscription, by the hour or by kWh unit cost.

Research found that public charging could cost drivers twice as much as if they were to power up their vehicle at home

But a lack of public parking means many motorists are forced to pay public charging rates.

Steve Huntingford, Editor at What Car? said: “Plug-in electrics are still relatively new to consumers and so they might not be as clued up as they would be with a petrol or diesel equivalent.

“Plug-ins should remain an extremely worthwhile and affordable investment for many, but it’s essential that prospective owners are doing their research and making sure they’ve got the right car for their needs and lifestyle.”

Media Article Confirms Uber Are Operating Illegally.

Again, we're told Uber jobs are being dispatched in London by a Dutch based company, and not as TfL want us to believe Uber London Ltd (the actual company licensed by TfL). TfL have kept this q secret and are doing nothing about it.

Below is a post from the Brighton and Hove News, which explains that Uber’s licence to operate in Brighton and Hove is up for renewal next week. The article states that the company applying for the operating licence in Brighton and Hove,is Uber Britania, But speaking to local Taxi drivers, many Uber drivers licensed by TfL, are flooding down the M23 to work the area.

Most interesting is the highlighted sentence in the article below that states out of city drivers are able access the same work as Brighton drivers, via the Uber London app !

TfL know this is going on, and yet they’ve said and done nothing about it. 

Again more proof (as if any were needed) that TfL are instrumental in the devastation and destruction of the Licensed Taxi trade in London. 

Again we ask the question, why haven’t our United Trade Leaders demanded Mike Brown’s immediately issue of a cease and desist order on Uber London Limited, who do not dispatch Uber’s Jobs in London (given the evidence available from a plethora of FOI requested emails)

It’s scandalous that TfLTPH were informed in 2014 yet said nothing and swept it unber the carpet.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:

Brighton And Hove News Article

Uber’s bid to renew its licence is to be heard in public next week following a campaign by taxi drivers. 

Hundreds of taxi drivers have also written in to object to the controversial app being allowed to continue trading in the city, with a total of 274 representations opposing the renewal received. 

Seven taxi drivers and 26 residents or businesses wrote to support the application, which has been made by a standalone company Uber Brighton and Hove (UBL). 

UBL was first granted a year-long operators licence in November 2015, but did not launch in Brighton and Hove until the following October. The licence was renewed for another year, but by the time it applied for another renewal in 2017, its licence had been suspended in London.

Town hall officers decided to renew it for six months with four new conditions relating to the concerns raised by Transport for London attached – not to block officials from using the app, to report serious complaints to the council, to ensure that rides booked by UBL are provided by Brighton drivers and to ensure all UBL drivers have disability equality training. 

However, taxi drivers are calling on the council to reject its licence with a lengthy list of challenges, including challenging Uber’s status as an operator, the ongoing TfL appeal, Uber’s failure to report sexual attacks in London and Uber data being hacked.

Drivers also continue to criticise the widespread appearance of Uber drivers licensed outside the city – drivers who are not required to adhere to the strict rules laid down in the city council’s “blue book” of rules, including CCTV and wheelchair accessibility. 

In his report to councillors on the licensing panel, head of regulatory services Jim Whitelegg said some of these concerns did not relate to UBL, which only uses Brighton drivers (although out of city drivers are able to use the app via Uber London and other Uber subsidiaries). TfL have known since 2013 that all Uber's London journeys are dispatch via a Dutch company Uber BV, but have said and done nothing about this situation. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

THE LTFUC PURCHASE A MUCH NEEDED SPECIALLY ADAPTED TRICYCLE FOR LITTLE HOPE, AGED 5


On Tuesday 17th April I went along with our Appeals Officer, Colin Greaves, to officially present little Hope aged 5 with a Tricycle, cost £945, to help and enable her to walk again as she suffers from a very rare metabolic condition called GA1 (Glutaric Aciduria 1), which unfortunately also caused her to suffer brain damage.  Her condition affects muscle tone, strength and motor control throughout her body which has made her very weak and her mobility extremely difficult.  The Tricycle has been specially adapted for her and will great benefit her physically, socially and emotionally.


Hope lives with her grandparents who said since she has received the Tricycle she cannot wait to get back on it after school and it is obvious that she has already started to get a tremendous sense of enjoyment and achievement from it, accompanied by lots of fun.

Every month Colin looks into the numerous Appeals that the LTFUC receive and the Committee were very pleased on this occasion to grant this appeal for such a worthy cause.

Raymond Levy (PR)

BREAKING NEWS: Statement from The ITA to the City of London

At midnight on Sunday 15th 2018  the ITA decided to withdraw the motion to call direct action over the decision made by the City of London to grant access through Bank Junction for the duration of The Commonwealth Games.

Members of the ITA reserve their right to resume direct action at any other time.

The decision is in response to concerns by  officials that the security risk in the area could rise sharply if the area became ‘over populated’. 

The point must be emphasised that whilst the ITA considers statements that pertain to a compromise in safety, we will not automatically take on board the legitimacy of  that statement.

The ITA has it’s own checks and balances set in place before direct action is announced publicly. 

More-so, the propensity for local authorities to ‘scare monger’ is a tried and tested one, and we will not succumb to disingenuous rhetoric to justify unjust policies.

Compounding on this, it is a timely reminder that the restriction imposed on licensed Taxis using Bank Junction as a ‘through route’ is implemented under the banner ‘Bank of Safety’. The service provided by London’s Licensed taxi trade (black cabs) is- according to TfL and the CofL’s own verifiable data- the safest transport option available, so once again, we call upon the City of London to lift the restriction on taxis forthwith. 

Failing that, provide a satisfactory reason why the public should be denied access to the only door-to-door public service option available. 

Assuming an observant position, we urge the City of London to lead the way and resume negotiations with relevant trade groups. It is not the mark of a progressive or democratic process to dismiss trade representatives who’s advocacy to serve their members is far higher than that enjoyed by the policy makers.  

It is not a meeting with the CofL, that the ITA seeks, but a resolution to the autocratic directorate that determined this traffic order in the first place.

We demand a return to healthy trade negations and reject the confirmation bias sought by those in consultation management.

We trust the City of London will find our request reasonable

ITA.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mercedes Find Another Outlet For Vito Taxis With Ride Share App.

Picture above is from the Amsterdam trial. Obviously the livery won't be legal in London.

In recent years, we have seen many big-name vehicle manufacturers trying their hand at the private-hire market, coming up with all sorts of ideas on how they can get a slice of the ride-hailing and ride-sharing economy. 

Whilst Uber are waiting to hear from the court about their licence renewal appeal, Mercedes believe they have found a gap in the London market.
Not a great surprise really, as they need an outlet for the vehicles designed to be London Taxis, now that the Taxi trade can no longer licence any new vehicle other than an electric vehicle.

Regulation Out The Window At TfL.
It seems the regulation that stops purpose built Taxis being used by Private Hire companies, is another regulation swept under the carpet under the watchful gaze of Mike Brown's TfLTPH.
Could this set a precedent with Geely's TXe, Nissans Dynamo and the new MetroCab Taxi being used by PH operators?

The German car-makers have this week announced that they are introducing an on-demand ridesharing Vito's boasting  a strong demand in London for ride-sharing solutions.

ViaVan is the name of this new service; a joint venture between Mercedes and American ridesharing service Via. Together, the businesses will allow commuters of Zones 1 and 2 to access vans with vacant seats in real-time, allowing them to jump in and share ride fairs with those heading in the same direction as them. Remember when you were a kid and dad telling you never get in a car with complete strangers... Well now there's an app for just that!

Having already tested the new app model in Amsterdam, they say they will be excelling in London, where Uber very much fell flat. This venture is centred on safety and reliability, with ViaVan offering the residents and visitors of the capital city an honest, easy way to travel. Doesn't mean diddley squat saying that though, as customers who use Uber don't give a fig about safety or reliability....they just want cheap!

In a statement to the press, Chris Snyder CEO of ViaVan said:
“Our mission is to power truly dynamic mass transit systems, which reduce congestion in our cities while offering drivers the opportunity to earn a decent living. 
“We are delighted to launch in London and finally give Londoners an alternative to expensive and inefficient private car services.”
So another ride share app for the ever increasing number of PH vehicles ...and that's supposed to reduce congestion ... You couldn't make this PR rubbish up!

Same Old Workforce, Still A Danger To The Public
Unfortunately for unsuspecting Londoners and Visitors alike, they will be drawing on the same work force that Uber have exploited and let's not forget that 13,000 of this workforce have acquired their PH licence using fake Criminal Record Check DBS certificates plus many have fake medical. 
Last year custom rape from this workforce rose by 50% to over one a week with sexual assaults rising to almost one a day.

London is to be flooded with new ride share apps in the wake of a Uber licence renewal knock back and TfL are still dishing out operator and driver licenses like sweeties to kids, (trying to make a dent in the forecast £1b deficit for the next financial year). Over. Recent years, we've seen a dramatic escalation in road traffic collisions where these untrained drivers take their eyes off the road and smash into other vehicles. People have died and the blood is on the hands of the directors at TfL who have shirked all responsibility once they've taken the cash.
Gone out the window are the days when public safety was paramount. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
London's Taxi drivers are now wondering if their representative orgs will be seeking a meeting with Mike Brown asking what happened to change the legislation to allow these vehicles to be licensed as Private Hire.
But seeing as they didn't seek an audience with Brown over the news that Uber BV are operating in London without an operators licence....I wouldn't hold your breath. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: The Case Against Driver In The Exhibition Road “RTA”Attack Is To Go Ahead.



The driver, still unnamed by police, was driving east along Cromwell Road with passengers allegedly picked up on the Uber app, when he suddenly veered left, mounted the pavement, ploughed though concrete blocks, into pedestrians before smashing into two cars waiting at the traffic lights southbound on Exhibition Road. 


He than got out of the car, screamed at onlookers and tried to run off, but was pulled to the ground and held till police arrived and arrested him.

The driver has been charged with:
* possession of false documents, 
* obtaining a driver’s licence with fake documents
* obtaining a PH licence with fake documents, 
* causing injury by dangerous driving. 

The question has to be asked, is this one of Helen Chapman's 13,000 drivers with a fake DBS check certificate?
Did TfL contact this driver and tell him he had to resubmit for a DBS check?
TFL's Helen Chapman new in January 2017 that there were 13,000 PH drivers with fake DBS's and said nothing until it was exposed in the media in August.

Without an enhanced criminal record check (or letter from embassy staff) he should never have been granted a private hire licence. 

Should everyone injured in this RTA be suing Helen Chapman and TfL for gross incompetence???
Perhaps one for the 'no win no fee' lawyers out there!

When the news broke that a car had ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians outside the Natural History Museum, almost everyone with children fleetingly entertained the same thought: it could have been us.

Everyone made a guess at what had happened. 
Some shared their guesses as fact. 
Car, pedestrian injuries, high-profile venue, panicking crowds, immediate police presence, swirling rumours… "Terrorist Attack"

But we are now told this wasn't the case.
This was just a driver, with a falsely obtained drivers licence, a falsely obtained private hire drivers licence, allegedly using an Uber app, having a bad day at the office. It could have been much worse.

It begs the question: "How many more of these fake PH drivers are still out there, possibly using the Uber app?"
We've been told that 2,600 resubmitted DBS checks, so at an educated guess I'd say about 10,399.

    TfL UNFIT FOR PURPOSE...

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Sunday, April 15, 2018

SUNDAY SPECIAL REPORT: Uber Data Hack...Not A Dicky Bird From TfL At The Time.


Thousands of users of the Uber app reported their accounts had been hacked or hijacked.

Back in early 2015, a BBC news reporter Tom Heyden, posted this in the BBC News Magazine:
"Bilaal, your Uber is arriving now," my dad was told.
My dad's name is Ed. And he hadn't requested an Uber car.
He wasn't alone. US website Motherboard reported "hundreds of thousands" Uber account details were available to buy for as little as $1 each, on the anonymous "dark web".
Another story featuring celebrity Anthea Turner hit the media back in 2015. 

Funny though, TfL never commented on any of these story at the time, even though they knew what was going on. 

2.7 UK Uber accounts had been hacked and many customers couldn’t close down their accounts because the hackers had changed the login details. Accounts were being sold on the dark web.

The stories soon disappeared even though other celebrities and dignitaries had also been hacked.

Posted April 8th 2015:
On that day, Anthea Turner like many Uber London customers, woke up to find that her rider account had been accessed illegally, by a third party who had been using her account over the bank Holliday Weekend.

Anthea made this tweet at 10:53 yesterday morning after discovering the money had already been taken from her bank account.



Many people (who use the same password for multiple applications) have found their personal bank details and social media platforms have also been accessed. TfL have never mentioned this either. 

Anthea had been unable to find help from Uber as their twitter helpline has been swamped with customer complaints. 
Uber denied reports that a major hack had taken place.


In fact, Uber responded by immediately taking down their London user Twitter account and replaced it with a nation user account, hopping this would dilute the complaint statistics after the major security breach started to surface.

Uber again denied their systems have been hacked. 
Nine months previously, their systems were breached, but with drivers details stolen... including; drivers names, addresses and credit card details. 
Amazingly, Uber said nothing about this for five months, according to the New York Times. 

Anthea's celebrity friend, hard man actor Tamer Hassan had this bit of advice for her at the time:


Around the same time, 35-year-old record producer Mike Crossley alleged that over the course of 10 days, someone took 142 Uber rides using his account — racking up a £3,000 bill. 
"Most of the time they were using the expensive luxury service to run up the bill," he said. 
"They were quite random although there was an address in Westminster they went to more than once."

Uber denied there had been a breach — but hurriedly refund customers. 

It wasn't until 2017, we found out just how big the hack had actually been. 2.7 million UK accounts had been hacked, 57 million world wide and Uber had covered it up 

Here are some more hacks reported at that time on Twitter




Next Week's Special Report...Uber's Spy In The Sky... GreyBall. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:

The advice given below, was taken from an UBER driver forum post, on how to beat the Gatwick out of licencing area situation:

"I'll go physically into the McD's on the N road and sit with a coffee with the app still running. It can surely then be claimed to be accidental in that case if there's an issue."

Also, incase you may have missed this: 

Recorded clip from the Cristo show on LBC, an Uber driver discusses how his system is set up to deceive and over charge the Uber customer. 


            

Saturday, April 14, 2018

We Need To Bring Them All Back To Answer Charges Of Alleged Malfeasance

In a statement yesterday on Periscope, chair of the London Cab Drivers Club Grant Davis said: "we need all TfL directors past and present, to answer charges!". 


Paul Coghlan on FaceBook. 
The proof that Uber are illegal is now so unequivocally abundant it is mind numbing. 

Uber BV do not and never have had  an operators license. Uber BV in Holland dispatch every job after it has been accepted by the driver (illegal) as only a licensed operator can accept a booking. They also process the payment therefore avoiding any tax liability in the uk. Uber London ltd have the operators license but take no part in the booking process. ULL are merely the company who are Uber’s public face. 

We've all seen the videos of the army of compliance officers, acting upon orders from TfL top brass, removing copies of a trade paper from Taxis, in a bid to stop drivers informing the public about UberRape.
One of the compliance officers suddenly disappeared from their ranks after it was alleged she had major connections with Uber drivers. 

They are responsible for the coverups of rape and gross misconduct by the company here in London. 
Freedom of information has revealed that TFL knew in 2013 that the booking process was non compliant. They actually instigated an IT architectural investigation by Deloitte that proved it to be so. 

TfL we’re about to act but Downing Street intervention quashed any compliance action. 
So for 5 long years TFL have knowingly sat on information that has caused 25k + self employed British men and woman to loose homes families and in the case of suicide their lives, in favour of an American tech company that contributes nothing, I repeat nothing, to our society other than an artificially low priced ride that will be 4x that price when all opposition is eradicated. 

The fight for justice continues as does the battle for survival. If you think it’s not you’re problem just remember this. These parasites will not stop with the Taxi industry. At the current burn rate they realise money will run out before self driving cars are ready en masse. They are looking to diversify into new areas. You could be next. Delete the app and support you’re local businesses.

           

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
As Paul rightly says, Uber are looking to diversify as the money is running out. They already heavily subsidise every job dispatched. Uber have taken on Jump cycles in a bid to raise funds. They have leads devastated many small local businesses with Uber Eats. 
Ever business they are involved in has an affect on people's everyday lives. This below from the other side of the world:
 

A POPULAR Sydney burger chef has severed ties with UberEats and unleashed a scathing online spray against the “fascist” company after his business was hit by a wave of negative reviews from customers unhappy with cold food.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Burgers by Josh founder Josh Arthurs accused UberEats of “exploitation”. “To all our loyal customers who have had a bad experience with UberEats we APOLOGISE,” Mr Arthurs wrote.

“As both a customer and food operational partner of this fascist company I have seen first-hand just how bad [an] experience it is for both parties involved.”

He said the drivers were untrained in food handling and customer service and “any Joe off the street can join”, and the problem was made worse because drivers were “not paid much so they will take one job/food order and often stop in and get another along the way which results in customers getting cold food”.

“Now recently Uber changed its policy on refunds for customers and businesses,” he said. “Customers no longer have a call centre to call and they have to enter a complaint in via the app to be sent off overseas with an expected wait of 24 to 72-hour response time to then see if you are eligible for a refund.

Friday, April 13, 2018

LCDC Chairman Grant Davis Gives Update On Periscope, What's Next Everyone?....A Must Watch.


Grant Davis, chair of the London Cab Driver Club gives an update on where the club are in regards to the 360 pages of emails they are collating.

Plus more information about their legal inquiries with top judicial review and Licensing law specialist at Bindmans LLP, John Halford. 
You can read more about John Haliford in this months badge on page 20. Grant has republish an article from the Badge in 2014.


Grant has always said if the club had been supported by the other trade orgs back in 2014, he believes we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now. 

Click the link below to see Grants periscope update

Maidenhead Council Officer Raises Fears Over Lack Of Control Of Uber Drivers And Blames TfL

Uber drivers are ditching their private hire licences with the Royal Borough and signing up for Transport for London (TfL) instead.

Greg Nelson, the council’s trading standards lead, told a meeting of the Royal Borough’s Licensing Panel on Tuesday that the switch means the council has less control over drivers operating in the area.

While Uber has an operating licence with the council, regulations do not prevent drivers signed up to the transport app from being registered with TfL but working elsewhere.

Mr Nelson said: “I’m not particularly happy with this because the whole purpose of licensing is we have some degree of control on the vehicles operating in our area.

“If Uber drivers are waiting somewhere in the Royal Borough, parked illegally, there is nothing we can do about their physical presence.”

Mr Nelson added that by relinquishing their licences, Uber drivers would not have to comply with the council’s proposed safeguarding training for Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers.

Cllr Maureen Hunt (Con, Hurley and Walthams) said: “Our taxi drivers are going to have to pay for this safeguarding training but Uber won’t.

“We have to look at the fairness of this.”

During the meeting at Maidenhead Town Hall, panel members recommended that private hire drivers registered with the council should pay for mandatory safeguarding training.

Royal Borough taxi driver Mohammed Yasin said after the meeting: “I’m not against the training but the cost shouldn’t be placed on the drivers.

“This is for public safety, why can’t the council locate funds from the public purse?

“Otherwise, this is an extra tax for taxi drivers.”

The cost of the training was discussed in part two of the meeting, which the public and press are not able to attend.

Uber expands settlement with FTC related to cyberattack

Question: What happens when you get caught out in a coverup, again?

Answer: Put more money on the table....

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday the ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc had agreed to expand its proposed settlement with the agency over charges it deceived consumers about its privacy and data security practices. 

The FTC said the expansion of the proposed settlement comes after the commission learned Uber had failed to disclose a “significant” breach of consumer data that occurred in 2016 affecting nearly 50 million U.S. riders and compels Uber to disclosure future incidents.

The settlement does not impose any fines but said Uber could face civil penalties if it fails to disclose future incidents.

The FTC said Uber in November 2016 learned that intruders had again accessed consumer data the company stored on its third-party cloud provider’s servers but did not disclose the incident for a year. The company said it had no evidence of fraud tied to the data breach.

The FTC said intruders used the access key to download from Uber’s cloud storage unencrypted files containing more than 25 million names and email addresses, 22 million names and mobile phone numbers, and 600,000 names and driver’s license numbers of U.S. Uber drivers and riders. 

“After misleading consumers about its privacy and security practices, Uber compounded its misconduct by failing to inform the Commission that it suffered another data breach in 2016 while the Commission was investigating the company’s strikingly similar 2014 breach,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen. “The strengthened provisions of the expanded settlement are designed to ensure that Uber does not engage in similar misconduct in the future.” 

The FTC noted that Uber failed to disclose the breach immediately, even after it paid the intruders $100,000 through its third-party “bug bounty” program.

The new FTC order requires Uber to retain records related to bug bounty reports regarding some vulnerabilities.

In November 2017, Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi disclosed the data breach that affected 57 million people around the world and said the two individuals who led the response were no longer with Uber.

Uber Chief Legal Officer Tony West said in a statement Thursday that during his first week on the job in 2017 Uber publicly disclosed the incident. 

For more on cybersecurity, check out the Decrypted  podcast:

“I am pleased that just a few months after announcing this incident, we have reached a speedy resolution with the FTC that holds Uber accountable for the mistakes of the past by imposing new requirements that reasonably fit the facts,” Uber Chief Legal Officer Tony West said in an emailed statement

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Meanwhile, there are so many of them in London, they're smashing into each other. Another blue on blue in Greenford Road.