Formally The Anderson Shelter...An Around Midnight Publication ©2012-2014.

Friday, January 30, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Undercover Uber Driver : Uber shift legal responsibility for using taximeter to driver.


Drivers are up in arms, claiming that the honeymoon period between Uber and its drivers is over, as the multinational billion dollar company seeks to maximise its profits by taking even more money from drivers by charging for data used....Or are they?

In an email sent to all its London drivers (see below), Uber announce they are to  start charging drivers £14 a month for data used on phones they provided drivers with at sign up (deposit of £150)

But drivers have been advised that if they do not wish to pay the new data charge, they can return the company phone, download an app (iOS or Android) and use their own smartphone. They are also advised that if they use their own phone, they can claim back monthly payments as a legitimate business expense. 

Drivers also informed the deposit is refundable. 
The estimated £1.5m pay back should not affect the company's in any way, as the money originates from and belongs to the drivers and was never part of company gross earnings.

Obviously, not many drivers are going to pay for something they can get free, plus be able to claim for their private phone against earnings, but is there more to this than first meets the eye. 

At present the company are supplying drivers with what could be described in a future lawsuit, as a Taxi meter. This makes the company responsible to any action taken by a third party, against the use of a Taxi meter in a Private Hire vehicle. Defence for the drivers would argue that they can not (at present) work for the company without the equipment supplied.

If the driver is using an app on their own phone, then surely that burden of guilt shifts from company to driver?

Now I'm not a lawyer, but I can see no other reason for Uber to want to buy back thousands of used iPhone 4s at a cost of £1.5m. 

Even if they've run out of stock, any future promotion in another country could make use of their new app.

 UBER EMAIL:


    Disclaimer: information contained in this article, is supplied by third party opinion and may not be that of Taxi Leak team.


Breaking News: Important Amendment To The Dereg bill, Clause 11.



We have been advised by the Nationsl Private Hire Association, that the amendment is not clear as to whether the “Operator” is a different company or the same company with more than one licence.

They went on to say: "UBER with 10 Operator licences in Greater Manchester could have total coverage of Greater Manchester, without need to advise customers.

"Also, if an Operator had a notice in his office and in the cars he ran and on his website stating that another licensed district car might be used does that not amount to "Contractual Acceptance" when the customer phones or Apps????

"Once again another piece of taxi legislation which will generate the DFT’s opt out phrase.....

“Ultimately it is for the Courts to decide.......mmmmm 
See you in Court then???!!!!"

Editorial Comment:
Deregulation Bill:
We have been reliably informed that the GMB union have asked Baroness Thornton for clarification on want is meant by the term "Second Operator". They say they are awaiting a reply.

Law Commision:
The legislation and case law which has been the basis of regulation for the Licensed Taxi trade in London for 379 years, is soon to be completely swept away by a totally new Taxi and Private Hire act.

The Law Commision have stated they have no intention of defining Plying For Hire in law.


For those who may have missed it;
Caroline Pidgeons fantastic interview with Radio Taxi Group Boss, Geoffrey Riesel. 

Well done Geoff, his really is a must watch.



    
 



Thursday, January 29, 2015

As Predicted, The Global Fightback Against Uber Begins.

A new Licensed Taxi-hailing app to rival Uber in SA


On 1st February a new cab-hailing app called Taxify is set to launch in South Africa and perhaps take on the country’s current big players Uber and SnappCab.

Taxify is an international service that launched in Europe in 2013 and currently operates in the US, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Taxify partners with businesses in each country to run the service, with local ICT company Revnetek SA being the South African partner.

Taxify has a four different apps – a taxi and driver app for taxi ordering, and a fleet management and despatch app for taxi companies to manage their businesses efficiently.

What sets Taxify apart to other personal transport apps like Uber is that the taxis aren’t licensed to Revnetek SA – Taxify simply acts as a link between customers and taxi services.

“Taxify is not a taxi company, we connect taxi users with taxis. We only do business with legally registered taxi companies and drivers who have valid PDP licenses, taxi permits and paying passenger insurance,” said Trevor Joseph, CEO of Revnetek SA, to htxt.africa.

Taxify lets you choose between various options available according to the type of vehicle, fare, user feedback and the distance to the pick-up point. A request for a taxi is sent to the closest one that is not busy at that time. If the closest taxi is busy, the request automatically goes to the next closest vehicle.

By including details about the individual taxis and drivers, the app helps to wean out any poor quality or unsafe services that might otherwise cause concern to potential customers.

Taxi operators are allowed to run their own business and charge their own rates that are visible to clients requesting taxis before they order. Taxify invoices the taxi operator for the order fee per trip at the end of the month for all orders received by them via the app.

“As a paraplegic, I am a regular metered taxi user. Since I am in the technology business, I recognised the potential for a taxi ordering and management app. I approached my business associate in Europe who introduced me to Taxify. Taxify had all the features I required in the solution so Revnetek SA concluded an exclusive Agency agreement for South Africa,” Joseph explains.

Taxify will be officially launching in Johannesburg and Cape Town first although the app is already available for download on Google Play and iTunes. Over  250 vehicles have already been registered on the service and the Revnetek SA hopes to exceed 500 vehicles by 31st March.

Joseph says the company plans to launch in other cities soon and while South Africa is Taxify’s first entry into Africa, Revenetek SA has already received enquiries from some sub-Saharan African countries and is pursuing the leads.


     Source : HTxT

An open Letter To The Media : The Best Taxi Service, With The Worst Regulators....by Jim Thomas.

The London Taxi trade is currently engaged in a fight for its life on multiple fronts.

Under attack from a billion dollar multinational company, out to destroy the worlds Taxi trade. A technology company with no respect for Taxi regulations anywhere in the world, who also believes theirselves to be above the law.

Under attack from environmentalists who see our only manufactured, only authorised vehicle as the devils child. With a Mayor about to introduce (in 2018) conditions of fitness that no current produced vehicle can meet.

Worse of all, Under attack from our own licensing authority who have bent over backwards to make legitimacy easy for big money operators, who do not meet required conditions of fitness and operate in a grey area outside the Private Hire Act 1998.

Sir Peter Hendy's present directorate, refuses to accept responsibility for adequate on street enforcement, which has seen minicab related crimes, including serious sexual assaults, spiral out of control. 

To add insult to injury, they have manipulated statistic in an attempt to justify their lame actions. The Met Police have openly admitted that sexual attacks that go unrecorded have gone from 80% in 2010 to 90% at present. This gives a false reduction in recorded statistics.

TfL presently have a team of 68 cab enforcement officers. In a 12 month period last year, they were responsible for a pitiful 34 convictions for illegal touting. Other cities around the country realise this figure over a busy weekend. 

We have seen the line between Taxi and Private hire eroded in the media to such an extent that the BBC inside out London documentary, presented by Louise Hulland, found 90% of night revellers don't know the difference between licensed Taxis on a rank and a line of un-booked minicabs outside a night venue. 
(One of the major causes of minicab predator sexual attack).

After a mass of complaints, the GLA held a review of TfL's handling of the Taxi and Private Hire trades. The transport committee's report found TfL "Woefully inadequate" and has submitted 19 serious recommendations. 

If the situation continues as at present, we could see the complete demise of the worlds best taxi service (a title awarded to London's taxi trade for the last six years running). The London Taxi service is the gold standard that other Taxi services around the world aspire to.

Since TfL took over the responsibility of administering the Taxi trade from the Met, the trade has more or less suffered in silence. But the worm has finally turned. Their seems to be a new fire in the belly of the rank and file driver and 2015 is about to become the year the trade fought back. 

After five years of carrot and stick management where TfL, with the help of an unfair engagement policy, managed to keep the trade representative orgs and unions fragmented, their greatest fear is about to be realised as the Orgs and Unions finally strive to achieve unity. A historic meeting took place at the LTDA's Taxi House on Monday, where previously excluded groups were invited in for talks.

If TfL fail to respond to the GLA recommendations by March and the Mayor pushes the trade for a 5 year reduction in the present 15 year Taxi age limit, our drivers will have no option other than to use the only weapon left in their arsenal.

We have the ability to bring the working Capital to a complete full stop, on a regular basis. Obviously this is the very last thing we want to do, but we will if we have to. The next few months are critical to our survival. We will not go down without the fight of our lives.

Our trade is self-financing and drivers have gone through the arduous knowledge of London, a process that turns out Taxi drivers of the highest standard. The Knowledge is completed at the drivers own expense and carries no cost to the tax payer. The trade receives no government subsidy, unlike other modes of transport.

We do this to win the sole right to ply for hire and all we ask in return is for our right to ply be protected and policed by our licensing authority.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Think You Can Do A Better a job? : TfL Seek New Head Of Compliance.

Job Description - Head of Compliance (013842)

Head of Compliance 013842
Organisation - CSEP
Job - Head of Department
Position Type - Full Time

circa £65,000

The closing date for applications is Friday 6 February 2015 @ 23:59 hours

Purpose

A key role leading the development and delivery of an efficient, modern and customer-focused taxi and private hire enforcement and compliance operation within TfL’s Enforcement and On Street Operations (EOS) Directorate working for safe, secure and reliable journeys in the capital.

You will be pivotal in fulfilling TfL’s responsibility to provide safe and reliable taxi and private hire services in London, ensuring all drivers, vehicles and private hire operators comply with all required regulations and legislation, and that the trade and public understand everything be done to make journeys safe and compliant. 

In addition, you will have overall strategic responsibility for tasking, deployment and driving performance improvement by TPH compliance and TfL funded police cab enforcement to create safe and reliable journeys. 

Accountabilities
Develop and implement an intelligence-led, risk based vehicle, driver and operator compliance strategy which is effective, efficient, proportionate and consistent with EOS key objectives and TfL’s enforcement policy

Execute TfL's responsibilities as a regulator of licensed taxi and private hire services in a manner that is fair, transparent and outcome focused and drives up the standards of licensed activity

Be responsible for the overall management and development of an effective team, delivering consistent compliance for the 150,000 licensees drivers, vehicles and operators in London within clearly defined, transparent and fair business rules and policies

Responsible for managing effective relationships with stakeholders from the taxi and private hire trade; TfL Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Authority; Greater London Authority and London Councils to further our objectives of providing safe, reliable taxi and private hire whilst also promoting the work of TfL
Be accountable for active engagement with the licensed trade as the primary funders and stakeholders for compliance activity, providing a channel for complaints and feedback on regulatory activity, consulting on policies, standards and rules and sharing details of performance
Working with the EOS Business Heads to identify and deliver, in collaboration with the MPS, CoLP and other enforcement staff, solutions to tackle the problems caused by bogus cabs, and licensed drivers, vehicles and operators involved in illegal activity
Play an active role within the Senior Management Team to deliver effective, dynamic, leadership and management of the Directorate, maximising the opportunity for collaboration between teams and focused on the delivering EOS and Surface objectives

Knowledge

Recognised Business Management formal qualification to degree standard or equivalent career experience
Detailed understanding of London’s taxi and private hire industries, legislation and regulations
Enforcement and prosecution including working with court services

Skills
Ability to manage teams of specialist operational personnel
Stakeholder management
Honed presentation skills and ability to deliver persuasive and influential messages to a wide variety of audience
Ability to motivate senior managers , teams and individuals to achieve stated objectives
Strong management skills to oversee business delivery in a complex organisational setting to a large number of customers and stakeholders

Experience

Enhancing organizational reputation in a complex political and legal environment.
Stakeholder management
Experience of working within legislative frameworks
Leadership in an regulatory environment
The post holder is required to pass an MPS security vetting at the appropriate level prior to appointment in order to obtain this post and hold valid clearance throughout employment.

Previous applications for 009622 need not apply


Application Process

We strongly recommend that you apply using your CV to speed up the application process. Please think carefully about the skills, knowledge and experience outlined in the job description and ensure your CV reflects the requirements of the role you are applying for. You may also use the ‘additional documents’ section in your online application to attach a more detailed profile that is specifically relevant to the role you are applying for. Short listing may be carried out on the basis of your answers to job-specific questions and other information that you submit.

Editorial Comment:

Delivering consistent compliance for the 150,000 licensees drivers, vehicles and operators in London

Take away the 25,000 Taxis....does that mean there are now 125,000 minicab drivers in London or is this just another case of statistics off the top of someone's head. The same someone Boris gets his statistics from. 


Breaking News: Delhi Transport Department rejects Uber's request for licence

New Delhi
Delhi Transport Department on Wednesday rejected Uber's request for licence in the city. The sources within the department said that incorporation of company does not include the mandated to provide public transport services.

US online taxi-hailing service Uber had applied for a radio taxi licence to restart operations in India's capital, after it was banned following allegations that one of its drivers raped a female passenger.

Uber had promised to improve passenger safety by introducing additional safety measures including more stringent driver checks, an in-app emergency button and a dedicated incident response team.

But even with all the so called improvements, Delhi Transport Department decided that Uber were not fit and proper to hold a Radio Taxi Licence.

      Source: IBN live