Sunday, March 09, 2014
Dutch Taxi company, "Taxi Electric" will become the first taxi company to have the new Nissan e-NV200 on its books. The Amsterdam-based company already runs a fleet consisting exclusively of Nissan Leaf EVs.
The unique selling point of offering an emission-free taxi service has been successful for Taxi Electric since its incorporation in 2011 and the firm is once more teaming up with Nissan to get the larger e-NV200 on the streets of the Dutch city. Production of new EV starts in May and the e-NV200 will join the Taxi Electric's ranks in the summer.
Taxi Electric was the first taxi company to run a 100% electric fleet and currently runs 25 Nissan Leafs, which have covered a combined total of more than 1.5 million kilometres (932,000 miles).
Andy Palmer, EVP Nissan said: "Taxi Electric was one of the first electric taxi companies in the world, and I've been impressed with their progress since their launch two years ago. They were the first to prove that zero-emission taxis - in the form of Nissan Leafs - are a viable alternative. They have covered an astonishing distance in their fleet in such a short time and have shown just how reliable our electric technology is in a demanding environment. Their pioneering spirit closely matches ours and we are certain they will continue their success with the ground-breaking Nissan e-NV200."
Ruud Zandvliet, founder of Taxi Electric added: "Two years ago we started with 10 Nissan LEAF. Each of these travelled well over 100,000km and proved to be extremely reliable. Since last summer demand for our taxis is growing rapidly which allowed us to double our fleet. We are very excited about the e-NV200 as it is designed to be a taxi. This will improve our offering and open new business opportunities for us."
Taxi Electric is unlikely to be the only taxi company running the e-NV200 as the city of Barcelona signing a memorandum of understanding with Nissan to promote the vehicle as a taxi.
Source: The Green Car website.
A memorandum of understanding...really
After 2018 boris has announced TfL will no longer issue licences to new taxis who can't achieve close to zero emissions. He wants the London Taxi trade to invest somewhere in the region of 40k in this technology so he can escape paying a huge EU fine for filling the streets with exhaust fumes from empty buses, that reputedly prematurely kill over 4,000 Londoners annually.
There are currently no fast charge stations suitable for taxi charging in Central London. Perhaps Boris could tell us how many deep charges this vehicle can manage before the battery pack needs to be replaced.
Not every driver has the ability to run a lead to the vehicle to charge overnight.
(Contrary to believe, we don't all live in a 3 bedroom semi with a car port)
Recently on BBC news, when asked if they would buy an electric Taxi vehicle, both the chairman of the LCDC and the vice Secretary of the LTDA said "no".
ALSO WHILE WE ARE ON THE SUBJECT:
In 2020 the Low Emmission Zone (LEZ) will become active. Any vehicle failing to achieve the lower emissions will be charged a daily rate of £100 to enter the zone.
The rating for the zone will be set at euro 4 for petrol and euro 6 for deisel.
There are currently no euro 6 deisel engines fitted to Taxi models, although LTC have suggested this for the TX5 due to be produced next year.
As there doesn't seem to be a memorandum of understanding from Boris and TfL granting exemption across the board to existing Taxi models, does this mean that a new Vito or TX4 purchased today, only has a current age limit of 5 years 9 months?
There are massive EU grants available for manufacturers to develope electric vehicles for general Taxi use. But their doesn't seem to be one penny to help London Taxi owners meet this massive investment.
Posted by Editorial at 12:50 AM
Friday, March 07, 2014
'Unprecedented' complaints against TfL boss include sexual harassment and 45 accusations of bullying
Following on from the scandal where Sir Peyer Hendy was exposed as paying prostitute Rachael Grundy £140 an hour after surfing an adult sex website, now a senior Transport for London manager tipped as a rising star of the organisation has been accused of sexual harassment by one woman and bullying by a staggering 45 colleagues, as revealed in the Evening Standard.
The article states:
Staff have alleged that the man bullied and intimidated them, with one female also accusing him of sexual harassment.
Insiders called the mass grievance lodged against him as “unprecedented” at the company, with the accusations now threatening to derail his career.
They also claimed the company had been slow to act after concerns were first raised - so much so that police had even been dragged into the dispute.
A source told the Standard: “The staff have lodged a formal grievance collectively. It’s unprecedented at TfL because of the numbers.
“The allegations are that he is a bully. That he intimidates people. One of the complaints is sexual harassment. There is an investigation going on at the moment but it took so long for them to act over it that the police were called.”
Another source said: “The woman involved called police because she felt TfL management and HR were doing nothing about it.”
It is understood the manager has not been suspended but is currently not working in his post.
The grievance was lodged before Christmas, with the alleged behaviour going on “for some time”.
News of the allegations will be a disappointment to TfL boss Sir Peter Hendy, although after Hendy's adulterous indiscretion, which was quickly swept under the carpet, this now seems a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
The organisation allegedly takes a hard line approach to harassment, with staff told that they must not do anything “whilst on or off duty which could damage TfL’s reputation”.
Bosses are currently investigating the allegations.
They will then file a report, and the investigation officer will decide what sanctions, if any, to apply if the allegations are proven
Unions Unite and Unison are understood to be representing the staff complaining. A Unison spokeswoman confirmed it was currently involved in a “serious matter” involving members at TfL.
She said: “There is an ongoing internal investigation related to serious allegations at TfL. It is therefore inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage of the process.”
A TfL spokesman said: “We take any allegations of harassment very seriously with firm policies and procedures in place.
“In this case an independent investigation is already under way.”
Unfortunately we have seen TfL policy counts for nothing when it comes to the crunch. After private hire company RD2.com was accused of gaining 18 satellite office licences contra to TfL policy, Taxi Leaks was told they could and would do what ever they liked and that policy was just guild lines and not set in stone.
Expect this story to disappear under a blanket of silence.
Posted by Editorial at 12:35 PM
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
A friend of mine has now been waiting 90 days for his CRB check to come back. His licence has now run out and he is effectively out of work. I spoke to him last night and his last words to me was:
"How much worst can it get Jim?"
Then I received this press release this afternoon from TPH enquiries:
TPH notice 02/14 - Disclosure and Barring Service - Service Availability 7-12 March 2014
Please find attached a copy of TPH Notices 02/14 Disclosure and Barring Service - Service Availability 7-12 March 2014
Transport for London – London Taxi and Private Hire
Disclosure and Barring Service Service availability between 7 - 12 March 2014
Important information regarding the Disclosure and Barring Service this weekend
We have been notified by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) that they are making changes to their IT systems and infrastructure and this will temporarily affect their ability to receive and process DBS applications from 7 March to 12 March inclusive.
This is part of wider changes they are making in order to modernise their service.
While you will still be able to make an application via the Post Office the following services will be affected:
E-numbers may not be available within 3 working days
Online use of the Update Service and online tracking of applications using the DBS tracking service will not be possible between 17:00 on Friday 7 March and 08:00 on Wednesday 12 March
Some disclosures may take a few extra days to be issued
We have been notified that the DBS call centre will remain open for general enquiries only during this period. Should you wish to contact them by telephone the number is 0870 90 90 811 but they have advised that they will not be able to answer enquiries about the progress of an application or to discuss the content of a disclosure.
Further information can be found here DBS Website
TfL has highlighted our concerns relating to this change and the DBS has
assured us that any impact will be kept to a minimum.
Potential further delays due to industrial action
We have also been notified by the DBS that there may be further disruption due to industrial action by their suppliers on 6 and 7 March. The DBS has assured us they will do everything possible to minimise the disruption if the industrial action goes ahead as planned.
05 March 2014 Interim General Manager
Why are Taxi drivers having to suffer being put out of work, just to facilitate the modernisation of a system that used to work like clockwork and now doesn't.
Temporary licenses are issued in every other licensing authority in the country, except for TfL where on the insistence of Commissioner Peter Hendy, they have been withdrawn.
How much more bias and incompetence has our trade got to endure from the hands of TfL, before the people who take money from us, who purport to represent our interest, finally start to earn their wages.
We need action...and we need it now
Our orgs must demand the issue of temporary licenses be reinstated.
Don't wait till this puts you out of work
Phone up your respective org/union today and insist on immediate action.
Posted by Editorial at 6:32 PM
Taxi trade overlooked, as Tenison Way Set to be transformed in £4bn roads overhaul: ...by Glen Alutto
Tenison Way, no longer to be a round about.
The IMAX roundabout at Waterloo is to be redeveloped, intending to create a better interchange facility at Waterloo station. The whole reasoning and expense behind the project, is to improved facilities for cyclists.
Boris Johnson, said: “Smarter design of our roads and public spaces, exemplified by our radical plans for Elephant & Castle, will play a key role in ensuring that London remains the best big city to live, work and invest.
“We’ve been hard at work putting the bold and imaginative blueprint of the Road’s Task Force into practice and we’re now seeing the fruits of that labour at key locations across the capital.”
The schemes will be delivered by TfL in partnership with London’s boroughs, developers and businesses.
Councillor Catherine West, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said: “These schemes, developed in partnership with boroughs, developers, businesses, and Transport for London through the Mayor’s Roads Task Force, should offer real benefits for local communities and road users.
“They will better address the needs of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, and have a positive impact on the quality of life for residents. We look forward to continuing our work with the Mayor’s Roads Task Force to ensure these major projects are a success for Londoners.”
Who and what is this Roads Task Force I hear you say?
As there are 26k of us we must have a strong influence on it surely?
Below is a list of it's members.
Posted by Editorial at 1:03 PM
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
supposed 'improvements' over at Euston Circus
Photos and info from Glen Alutto.
Posted by Editorial at 12:59 PM
Monday, March 03, 2014
Taxi drivers are very polite, some are extremely polite, car and van drivers are courteous. But there is one type of driver who's not courteous at all...the Bus Driver. All of these drivers think they're lord God almighty...
But then we already knew that.
Strange as it may seem, some choose to be ignorent of the truth.
Source: BBC Top Gear, video courtesy of Stormcab.
Posted by Editorial at 8:38 PM
Sunday, March 02, 2014
It has been bought to my attention that there is a massive loop hole in the suburban consultation review (online survey).
Individual drivers or certain groups (serving a particular agenda) are currently able to submit multiple responses, rendering any result flawed.
By not submitting an email address it is possible to submit multiple responses using a false name, which I have done on multiple occasions, leaving a neutral response, remembering to clear cookie data after each attempt. On each occasion I have been sent back a different ID in reference.
Your response ID is ANON-BW95-BCRD-2.
Your response ID is ANON-BW95-BCG9-C.
Your response ID is ANON-BW95-BC9W-V.
Your response ID is ANON-BW95-BC9S-R.
We have had reports that certain groups of drivers have been sitting in cab shelters and cafés with iPads and smart phones, encouraging other drivers to make multiple entries.
This can't be justified under any circumstances.
It has to be one badge, one vote. Responses to a consultation, have to be seen as fair and aboveboard, otherwise any result would be corrupt.
I therefore suggest, all representative trade organisations urgently contact TfL and demand the review response be withdrawn, until the loophole has been rectified.
I have written to my trade representatives and have asked them to submit a complaint to TfL on my behalf and that of our members. I strongly urge every driver to do the same.
In its present form, it is a massive threat to the knowledge of London and the working practices of the licensed taxi driver for both suburban and all London Drivers.
Typical incompetence again, on the part of TfL.
Any published results could legally be challenged in its present form and would be a complete waste of our licence fee budget, which could have been put to better use (new ranks, enforcement etc.).
It's like the Private Hire Licensing Act all over again!
An act that was and still is, brimming full of loop holes.
An act signed off by our main representative groups at that time, who obviously hadn't taken the content of the act too seriously, which since has had dire consequences, devastating the Licensed Taxi industry over the last decade.
QUESTIONS THAT REALLY NEED ANSWERS:
Why have TfL put this consultation on-line?
Why wasn't the consultation response request posted to each licensee?
Why wasn't the consultation about the Cabbies Cabinet put on-line?
Does TfL know the loop hole exists?
We will of course offere TfL the space on this blog to answer the above questions
Posted by Editorial at 3:18 PM