Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Letter To Editor : Free Breakfast For Cabbies At Royal Wharf 15th Sept 7-10 am.

Dear Taxi Leaks, 


I wanted to get in touch to invite you to a free breakfast being held at Royal Wharf, exclusively for taxi drivers. Royal Wharf is a new development in east London which will comprise almost 4,000 new homes.


The reason for the breakfast is to ensure that taxi drivers know exactly where Royal Wharf is, as it is a new residential development into which people will be moving next year. The developers, Oxley Holdings and Ballymore, are hosting a free breakfast for cabbies on Tuesday 15thSeptember between 7am – 10am. In order to ensure as many taxi drivers as possible are able to claim their free breakfast we would love if you could help us to spread the word about the event – details are below. 


All cabbies need to do is pull up alongside the Royal Wharf information centre – which will be clearly signposted – between the times mentioned above and grab some food and drink from the van parked there. Staff will be handing out flyers at taxi ranks in east London, these will direct drivers to Royal Wharf and can be exchanged for a free bacon roll and tea or coffee but cabbies without a flyer are also entitled to breakfast.


Do let me know if you would like any further information or images regarding this. It would be great if you were able to help us pre-promote this to London’s taxi drivers through your channels.


Stocks of butties will be limited, so it will be first come, first served!


Best wishes,



For further info contact Beth/Jon via the below number


Tel: 020 7630 1411

Twitter: @TCG_PR  | Instagram: @tcg_pr



From Today Contactless CC Payments In The UK Rise To £30 Limit.

Shoppers in the UK will now be able to spend up to £30 using contactless cards after the limit was increased.

The limit per transaction for the so-called tap and pay cards, which do not require a PIN or a signature to authorise payment, was previously £20.
The move follows a huge rise in the number of people using contactless cards in the UK. 
Transactions for the first half of this year totalled £2.5bn, already higher than the £2.32bn spent in 2014. 

The UK Cards Association, the trade body for the card payments industry, said the increase meant that the average supermarket spend of £25 would now be covered.
"The growth in contactless payments shows people want to use contactless cards, and increasing the limit gives customers even more opportunities to pay in this way," said chief executive Graham Peacop.

In July, consumer group Which? warned that data from contactless cards could be easily stolen by determined fraudsters.

But the trade body said fraud via the cards was "extremely low", at less than one penny for every £100 spent.
The increase also comes after Apple allowed users of its latest devices to make contactless payments.

Kevin Jenkins, managing director UK and Ireland at Visa Europe, said contactless payments were becoming the "new normal".

"We've seen unprecedented growth in this area, with the number of Visa contactless transactions more than trebling in the past year in the UK," he added.
The increase was first announced in February

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mexico's VW Beetle Taxis Find 2nd Life With Mexican collectors

When the Mexico City government retired the last Volkswagen Beetle taxis in 2012, it shipped most of the aging cars, commonly known as "vochos," to junkyards to be turned into scrap metal.

But some of the Beetles, both former taxis and private cars, have found a second life in the hands of enthusiasts like Mario Anaya. He restored his father's 1994 sedan into an auto he named "the lizard" for its metallic-green paint.

"The car has a second life," said Anaya, who began refurbishing the former taxi in 2007, installing tan leather interior, a new odometer, fenders and chrome Porsche-style wheels.

A Volkswagen factory in Puebla, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) to the east, manufactured the old-style Beetles for 39 years, long after the car design had ceased production everywhere else. The last one came off the Mexican production line in 2003.

About 50,000 of the green-and-white taxis, many with the front passenger's seat removed, still roamed the Mexican capital's streets at their peak in 2006. But the city's crackdown on air pollution, its fight against crime, and the adoption of newer car models finally led to the vocho's retirement, with the last of the Beetle taxi licenses expiring in 2012.

Today, Anaya's close friend Arturo Diaz drives a restored ocean-blue 1965 ragtop Beetle and is president of Xochivolks, a club he founded 11 years ago in the capital's Xochimilco district.

"It is a family thing," said Diaz, who brings his 9-year-old daughter Amiel to club meetings. "The car is mine, but everyone participates, everybody takes care of it, everyone helps."

Fellow club member Christian Franco customized his bright yellow 1991 Beetle with toy chickens for his wife, who works in a roast chicken restaurant. Three foot-long rubber chickens are attached to the car's rear, and a fourth appears stuck under the back bumper.

"There's a resurgence of interest in these cars," said Mario Gamboa, a VW mechanic and racing driver for 35 years. "People want to live the dreams of their youth by fixing up a Volkswagen."

Diaz said collectors sometimes purchase used Beetles on a website for second-hand goods, or acquire a used one from a relative, friend, or neighbor.

Club members currently are looking forward to a huge gathering on Oct. 25 at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca, with as many as 1,500 customized vochos and 4,000 enthusiasts expected to attend.

About 40 of the original vocho taxis still survive at the El Coyol scrapyard in the Mexico City neighborhood of San Juan de Aragon.

"We're like a taxi museum," said Miguel Angel Campos, a junkyard employee. Inside the walled lot, behind a green metal gate, the surviving vochos are lined up in three long rows.

Many of the cars have cracked windshields, dented roofs, and missing fenders. Campos said some were once pirate taxis, or were involved in a serious crime, such as a robbery or killing. Most have not been driven for years.


But they are not for sale.

The last surviving vocho taxis, he said, are destined for the car compactor.

Woman’s Body Discovered Inside Car In Stater Bros. Parking Lot

Woman’s Body Discovered Inside Car In Stater Bros. Parking Lot

WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say a death investigation is underway in West Covina after a woman’s body was found inside a vehicle.

West Covina police say around noon Tuesday, officers received a call by a person who noticed a body hunched over in the backseat of a gray Volkswagen sedan.

The discovery was made in a Stater Bros. parking lot in the 300 block of North Azusa Avenue.

Although investigators haven’t released the woman’s identity, DMV records show the car is registered to an Orange County woman and the coroner’s office confirms they’re working her case. The cause of death was not immediately known.

On the windshield of a vehicle, an Uber sticker turned sideways was visible, reported CBS2’s Rachel Kim. Police, however, say they cannot confirm whether the woman was a driver for the company.

“Detectives are going to do their investigation and maybe find out how long it had been here,” Sgt. Brian Daniels of the West Covina Police Department said. 

It remains unclear how long the body had been inside the vehicle.

“They are thinking she might have been there a day or two because the smell was really bad already, so it’s just really sad. It’s really shocking,” said Celine Portillo, a shopper.

The body has since been removed from the scene by the coroner’s office.

Off-camera, Kim spoke with a man who says the woman is his aunt. He confirmed that the vehicle was in fact hers and that she had just become an Uber driver.

Police said they are looking through security footage from the shopping plaza for any clues.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Another Day...Another Bus Crash.

Bus crashes into tree on busy east London street leaving at least 12 injured 

  • The single decker bus crashed into a tree near Manor Park station in east London. Police, paramedics, plus the air ambulance were all called to the scene.

  • At least 12 people were injured, with 10 taken to hospital and two in a serious condition
  • It is not known what caused the smash or whether the driver was injured 

Chaotic pictures show the front of the single decker bus crumpled against the tree, while shaken passengers watch from across the road. 

Two of the 12 injured are in a serious condition, with 10 being treated in hospital.

Among the injured are a man thought to be in his 40s with head injuries and a woman in her 60s with an injured hip. 

London Ambulance Service (LAS) declared a major incident, sending six ambulances and the air ambulance to the scene.

Police officers and the London Fire Brigade helped the 15 passengers and driver off of the red W19 bus and closed part of Station Road. 

It is not known what caused the crash, or what condition the driver is in. 

New York Taxis Finally Launch An App To Compete With Uber.

New York is launching the Uber of taxis. 

Insiders of the city’s taxi industry are finally launching an app that lets users hail cabs and pay for rides using a smartphone. It’s such a great idea you have to wonder what took so long.

The app is called Arro and, as first reported by Crain’s, it’s in beta testing with 7,000 New York City cabs and could launch within weeks. Here’s how it works: A user launches the app, which gives a nearby cabbie the passenger’s name, pickup address, and cross street. The user, meanwhile, gets the driver’s name and ID number. The app saves credit card info, letting passengers pay the metered fare and tip automatically. Another advantage is no surge pricing; the app developers told Crain’s that fares always will be meter-based.

Arro comes as on-demand ride companies like Uber and Lyft are getting a lot of attention for their impact on public transit. It is largely taken as gospel that the taxi industry’s taken a major hit from the growth of these services. New York’s Taxi & Limousine Commission has seen a dramatic drop in the price of taxi medallions and an increase in foreclosures for medallion owners. Uber and its ilk have dinged other forms of transit too. Just this week, Uber admitted it is testing Smart Routes in San Francisco that let drivers pick up and drop off passengers on specific routes—something that would appear to encroach on bus services. That has some worried that might make the city less likely to invest in mass transit.

But as much as people like to denounce on-demand ride services, the truth is they are far more convenient and much less constrained than public transit. As my colleague Alex Davies noted earlier this year, private transportation models can be successful because they need not please everyone. They also have greater latitude to innovate, which can lead to leaps forward like paying via smartphone. Arro appears to be an effort to bring to the taxi industry a level of service and convenience many people now take for granted.

New York has some 20,000 taxis, but Arro’s partnership with Creative Mobile Technologies limits the service to just a portion of them. Still, the startup reportedly is working on a deal with VeriFone Systems, which would add more taxis. And if all goes well in New York, Arro plans to launch in other cities, including San Francisco, Boston and Washington DC.

Source : Wired