20 Apr

Taxis: time to embrace, not resist, the technological revolution?

Taxis: time to embrace, not resist, the technological revolution

If one were looking for a case study in “creative destruction” – the economist Joseph Schumpeter’s term for the messy way in which capitalism renews itself – then the current row over Uber, the internet-powered taxi-hailing service, would be hard to beat.Launched in 2010 in San Francisco…….

….On the other hand, taxi services are regulated for good reasons, chief among them passenger safety. A world in which just anyone with a car in an urban area could pick up passengers from the street or their homes is not one that most of us would countenance.

The best strategy for taxi firms and regulators, therefore, would be to learn from the mistakes of other industries (think record companies and print newspapers) that could have harnessed the internet for their own purposes, but chose not to do so until it was too late.

Uber – or similar services – is here to stay. It offers some ways of improving an important public service. Given that the taxi industry can’t beat it, the smart thing to do would be to join forces with it – and keep some of the additional revenues.

 

16 Apr

The future of the UK taxi industry: is it all about the app?

The future of the UK taxi industry: is it  all about the app?
‘Taxicode believes the future of the taxi industry is to work with all taxi companies with a piece of software that can connect everything together’

US taxi app Uber recently received a $333 million investment from Google, whilst UK-based company Hailo has had a reported $77 million.

The taxi economy is worth almost £9 billion in the UK and no one company has the lion’s share of it. This clearly presents a valuable opportunity, which is why many technology companies are keen to move in and try and extract some of this revenue for themselves. But will it happen and is it even possible?[...]

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09 Apr

Brighton taxi drivers step up fight against deregulation (From The Argus)

Brighton taxi drivers step up fight against deregulation (From The Argus)
Brighton taxi drivers have launched a campaign against the deregulation of the industry, which they claim could put public safety at risk.

Under current licensing regulations, companies can only handle bookings they have taken themselves through their own operators.

But amendments added to a government Bill would allow private hire companies to subcontract work to other operators in another area, and would allow ordinary drivers to drive private hire vehicles when they are “off-duty”.

The taxi companies have requested the help of MP Simon Kirby who confirmed he had written to the minister and was trying to arrange for Brighton and Hove taxi representatives can put their concerns to the transport minister directly [...]

09 Apr

Sex-crazed Angelina Jolie lookalike is given suspended sentence for forcing a taxi driver to have sex with her twice and then stabbing him when he could not manage a third time

Sex-crazed Angelina Jolie lookalike is given suspended sentence for forcing a taxi driver to have sex with her twice and then stabbing him when he could not manage a third time

A sex-crazed Angelina Jolie lookalike has been handed a suspended jail sentence after a taxi driver claimed she had tried to kill him when he refused to perform a sex act on her for a third time.

Nicolae Stan, 35, told police Luminita Perijoc, 31, had already forced him at knifepoint to have intercourse and perform oral sex during the incident in 2012.

He claims he met Perijoc while he was hired to deliver some bags of shopping to her apartment in the city of Tulcea, in eastern Romania, and when he turned up at the door she had asked for his phone number so that she could engage his services again. [...]

07 Apr

Chip and pin revolution on the cards in city taxis

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Glasgow Taxis Ltd is gearing up for the 2014 Commonwealth Games with the introduction of credit and debit card payment machines in vehicles.

The black taxi company, the largest in the UK outside London, will be introducing the new facility across its cabs over the new few months.

It is expected to be a success with visitors to the city and with those using Glasgow’s nightlife pubs and clubs, especially on the way home at the end of a night out.

Stephen Flynn, the company’s vice-chairman, said: “This is something many of our customers have been asking for and we are delighted to be able to provide a service that provides even more convenience for them.

“The option to pay by card is being introduced today and will be brought in across all Glasgow Taxis Ltd vehicles in the months ahead….

05 Apr

Bogus taxi driver was ordered to stop by terrified passengers

Bogus taxi driver was ordered to stop by terrified passengers

A bogus taxi driver who terrified passengers by swerving across motorway lanes and appearing to fall asleep at the wheel has been banned from driving and given a suspended jail sentence.

A court heard Hamza Afzal Sacranie was reported by a woman passenger who abandoned a trip back from Gatwick airport.

Sacranie (24) of Broadway Road, Leicester, terrified passengers so much that they ordered him to stop the Ford Galaxy at a motorway services last June.

They rang the police saying he was a danger on the road.

Checks of the registration and other details revealed Sacranie wasn’t licensed to be a taxi driver at all, and the vehicle wasn’t insured or licensed for private hire use.

Leicester Magistrates were told on April 2 that when the taxi arrived at the airport for the pick up, its seats were not in the correct position and not all the passengers had seatbelts.

05 Apr

Worcester taxi drivers’ High Court legal battle expected to be scrapped (From Worcester News)

Worcester taxi drivers' High Court legal battle expected to be scrapped (From Worcester News)

Worcester taxi drivers’ High Court legal battle expected to be scrapped Taxi drivers at Foregate Street, in Worcester A BITTER High Court legal battle between taxi drivers in Worcester and the city council is set to be scrapped – after a major u-turn. Your Worcester News can reveal how the council is looking to water down a new hard-hitting policy on taxi vehicles after it enraged cabbies.

Last November, in a bid to help reduce spiralling taxi numbers licensing chiefs agreed that drivers must buy brand new cabs once their vehicles are deemed too old.

Prior to that point, under old rules once the car reaches around 12, taxi owners were allowed to replace them with vehicles aged up to three.

Worcester Taxi Drivers Association has launched court action over the change but the city council held a private meeting with the trade on Thursday for fresh talks over it.

 

05 Apr

Community order for coke-dealing taxi driver (From Dorset Echo)

Community order for coke-dealing taxi driver (From Dorset Echo)

Community order for coke-dealing taxi driver Community order to coke-dealing taxi driver A TAXI driver from Dorset supplemented his income by selling cocaine, a court heard. Richard Mitchell, 41, was handed a community order after admitting possessing cocaine with intent to supply, and possessing cannabis. In the hearing at [...]

 

30 Mar

Here Are The Microeconomics Of Uber’s Attempt To Revolutionize Taxi Markets

Here Are The Microeconomics Of Uber's Attempt To Revolutionize Taxi Markets

NEW competitors always ruffle a few feathers. The unique thing about Uber, a new taxi-market player, is that it seems to have annoyed some of its customers as much as the incumbent cabbies it threatens. The problem is its “surge pricing”, …….

……Launched in San Francisco in 2010 it lets passengers hail drivers from their smartphones–a move requiring even less effort than extending your arm. Some vehicles are not so much taxis as private cars that Uber has vetted. The convenience of hailing a cab from the comfort of a sofa or bar stool has given the service a loyal fan-base, but it comes at a cost. Most of Uber’s prices are slightly cheaper than a street-hailed cab. But when demand spikes, the surge prices kick in: rates during the busiest times, such as New Year’s Eve, can be seven times normal levels, and minimum fares of up to $175 apply.

Full Story: Business Insider

 

30 Mar

Latest Links on the UK Deregulation Bill 2013-14

Law Commission595

 

Important information:

Public Bill Committee – Tuesday 25th March 2014

Institute of Licensing response to DfT informal consultation

Meeting of Minds session 26th March 2014

Unite the union brief for MP’s on amendments affecting the Taxi and Private Hire trades within the Deregulation Bill

UNITE 302/3 NE: Official Response To Department For Transport Consultation Specific To Hackney Carriage And Private Hire (Mini-Cabs) And Deregulation Bill: March 2014

Deregulation Bill on the Parliamentary website

29 Mar

Cabbie lauded for serving those with disabilities

Cabbie lauded for serving those with disabilities

Chicago honors taxi driver who goes out of his way for passengers in wheelchairs In his 11 years behind the wheel of a Chicago taxi, Tarig Kamill has witnessed countless drivers turn down fares because they don’t want to spend the time helping passengers in wheelchairs into their cabs. [...]

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29 Mar

Taxi drivers in shock High Court battle with Worcester City Council (From Worcester News)

Taxi drivers in shock High Court battle with Worcester City Council (From Worcester News)

FURIOUS taxi drivers in Worcester are taking the city council to the High Court in a bitter dispute over buying new vehicles.

The taxi trade say they face “ruins” because of a new rule which means some drivers must fork out nearly £40,000 to stay on the roads.

Under city council rules, hackney carriage drivers typically need to replace their taxi once it reaches the age of around 12, subject to a mechanic’s assessment.

Up until last November, a new vehicle aged up to three years old was deemed acceptable, but a new rule then kicked in which the replacement must be brand new…

 

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29 Mar

Elland taxi driver part of £1m Halifax heroin smuggling gang jailed for total of 36 years

Elland taxi driver part of £1m Halifax heroin smuggling gang jailed for total of 36 years

Three Calderdale men have been given jail sentences totalling more than 36 years after UK Border Agency officers uncovered a £1m heroin smuggling operation.

The trio were said to have played leading or significant roles in the well-organised operation which saw regular consignments of the Class A drug being delivered to addresses in Halifax over a seven-month period.

One of those jailed was Baber Khan, who was working as a taxi driver in

20 Mar

Milan taxi drivers march against Silicon Valley ride-app Uber

uber

MILAN (Reuters) – Striking taxi drivers marched through Italy’s second city Milan on Thursday in protest against app-based ride service Uber, a Silicon Valley prodigy that has drawn furious opposition as it seeks to become a global force.

Demonstrators demanded that the authorities crack down on ride services that taxi drivers say are illegal, and banners held by protesters and draped over cabs made it clear the main target was the increasingly prolific Uber, a smartphone-based service that connects users to their nearest chauffeured car……

……”They come and arrogantly park next to us, knowing very well they do not belong in the piazzas,” said Mazza, who has been driving taxis for 40 years.

“They steal our work, it’s absolutely illegal, and they use American law … which puts them outside local rules. We will never accept it.”

(Reporting by Naomi O’Leary and Isla Binnie; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

 

15 Mar

Pictured: Drunk danced on taxi roof and left cab driver with a £5,000 repair bill

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A taxi driver faces a £5,000 repair bill after a drunk danced on the roof of his car. Alias Hussain was driving a couple home when the man stepped out in front of him. “I had to stop or I would have hit him,” said the cabbie. The pedestrian [...]

 

14 Mar

Taxi firm in legal fight over ranks row at city airport

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Central Taxis, the capital’s largest black cab firm, is appealing against the principle of a licence being granted for the company booking office yards from the private hire rank.

It is claiming in the action at Edinburgh Sheriff Court that the system is no longer in the spirit of the pre-booking requirement for private hire cars because passengers now go to the office and then walk out to the rank where their taxi will be waiting.

Central Taxis previously had a contract for five years, along with another private hire firm, to provide black cab and private cars for travellers at the terminal, which sees 25,000 passengers a day and is 30 minutes from the city centre.

12 Mar

Video: Minicab driver has lucky escape after car smashes through city centre wall almost landing on pavement

Video: Taxi driver has lucky escape after car smashes through city centre wall almost landing on pavement

A minicab driver escaped serious injury when his private hire vehicle smashed through a wall bordering a Birmingham city centre side street – and ended up perched precariously above a busy walkway and road below. The driver of the Volkswagen Passat saloon car appeared to have misjudged the bend [...]

12 Mar

London taxi turns private jet

London taxi turns private jet

On the outside, it looks like a standard black Mercedes Viano, the minivan which is trying to oust the traditional black cab from the taxi ranks of London. But the blacked-out windows give a hint that things may be different inside. And what a difference it is: four leather [...]

 

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