Thursday 6th October 2016 see’s the launch of a new Taxi App, “oh no not another app” I hear you say, well yes, another app but this time it is different from the previous offerings.
Previously all of the apps that have been aimed at Taxi drivers have been from Corporate companies backed by Venture Capitalists looking to earn a profit off the back of the hard working Taxi driver.
Well this new app is different, their are no investors, no venture capitalists, no CEO’s on outrageous salaries, nope, it has been set up as a Not for Profit company.
The app is simply called Taxi App and has been set up by a small group of passionate London taxi drivers who believe in the future of our 360 year old trade.
Taxi App will also operate in a different way to other apps, there will be no commission charged on any job, so no 10% or 13.5% deductions from your earnings, the fare on the meter at the end of the journey is yours to keep.
So how will Taxi App operate? drivers will be charged a subscription of £5 per week, so it doesn’t matter if you accept jobs totalling £400 or more in a week, all you will ever pay is £5 per week.
Is there any work on the app you ask? Well lets be honest, to start with of course not, there have been a few jobs go through the app but without any money to promote the app to the public the steering team will have to wait until funds start to build up before they can embark on any promotions.
I have, for over 5 years, been extolling the virtues of the London taxi trade owning and controlling its own app, there has always been the worry that the existing apps want to control the trade so that they can manipulate the trade to maximise their profits, and if one investor backed app gained market share within London then where would that leave the working driver? They can remove a driver from the app at will leaving you without part of your income that you may well have become used to earning.
This is the app that our trade has been crying out for, an app for drivers, run by drivers with no one creaming any profit off the top, but it needs as many drivers as possible to get involved.
There is a caveat, it needs you the driver to sign up and be available for work on the app, it also needs you to promote the app to every potential taxi customer.
There is no point in saying “I will sign up once there is some work on the app” it doesn’t work like that. to make this work there needs to initially be an oversupply of drivers to service the customers. When a customer uses the app to order a Taxi there needs to be one available otherwise that customer may never use the app again.
Taxi App is not looking to convert the street hailing passenger, far from it they want to encourage customers to use street hailing when and where possible but to use Taxi App when they are in a location where Taxis do not normally drive past.
Any surplus income from subscriptions over and above the operating costs of Taxi App will be reinvested to promote the London taxi trade as Taxi App does not need to make a profit, the app has been set up purely for the benefit of the working taxi driver in London.
If you value your job and this trade you have nothing to lose but everything to gain, what is a fiver, 2 Costa coffee’s, less than a packet of cigarettes. Taxi App needs you the driver to sign up for the App, work the App and promote the App.
To find out more about Taxi App or to sign up please click here
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New SuperCabby Podcast
Stakeholders – SuperCabby Podcast Series 2 Episode 1
SuperCabby has embarked on a new series of podcasts where he will explore and talk about different issues within the London Taxi Trade.
There will be no co presenters, no guests, and no telephone calls but I would like your interaction via email, twitter, facebook or just shout when you see me.
Black-cab drivers are to be forced to forget the knowledge and instead use either a sat-nav or just drive around in circles like a twat hoping to finally stumble on their destination, according to new legislation announced by the Government.
David Cameron warned that climbing into a taxi whose driver had some sort of fucking clue about the best route through the city during rush hour had no place in today’s digital age.
“We don’t want the market stifled by road map memorising cockneys. It’s not fair on Uber or their directors. Neither is it fair on us, with our almost fetishist obsession with dismantling British institutions. So we’ll be issuing severe penalties to any drivers who blatantly remember the knowledge or draw on years of experience in driving around London. In serious cases we will withdraw their licenses until they stop knowing their way around and start driving around like a fart in a trance.” He explained.
Under the proposed legislation, licensed cabbies will be forced to take a test to ensure that they have not one solitary clue how to get from Liverpool street to Fulham Palace Road. Each will be required to take a taxi to the test centre themselves to prove that they haven’t somehow navigated themselves there under their own steam.
SuperCabby Podcast Logo
I have decided to produce a new series of the SuperCabby Podcast. This was the podcast that was the predecessor to the London Taxi Radio Interviews podcasts where we interview people from within the Taxi Trade and those who have an influence on our trade.
This time the SuperCabby podcast will be a little different, I will not be interviewing people but will be reviewing things of interest to Taxi drivers and items that could make a Taxi drivers working life a little less stressful and maybe even more enjoyable.
I will also occasionally talk about things that affect our trade and impart my views and opinions with the podcasts, I am going to try to keep these episodes short and to the point rather than rambling on.
If there is any item that you would like to hear me review than please let me know or any issue that you would like to hear my views about then also please get in touch.
The Private Hire consultation ends tomorrow, makes sure you fill it in and submit your response.
Below are the questions you will encounter in the consultation and suggested responses…
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Click on This LINK
You will be taken to the online consultation
Below Question by Question is the Consultation document…. Copy the suggested response (or add your own) and paste it into the consultation document…
PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THIS TO EVRYONE ELSE, YOU ARE SOMEBODY’S SOMEONE ELSE !
I have also included screenshots below in case you are having difficulties.
1.Operators must provide a booking confirmation to passengers containing the driver photo ID and details of the vehicle being used to discharge the booking
I agree with this proposal. It will improve passenger safety by ensuring that passengers do not get into the wrong vehicle.
2.Operators must provide booking confirmation details to the passenger at least five minutes prior to the journey commencing
I agree with this proposal. PHV drivers must not accept immediate hirings as it will invalidate their insurance and make it impossible for enforcement agencies to protect the public from touts. There is a belief that passengers will be caused an unnesesary 5 minute wait. This is a misleading idea. Passengers realising that they will need to book 5 minutes in advance need only “push the button” 5 minutes earlier.
3.Operators will be required to seek TfL approval before changing their operating model
I agree with this proposal. Operators moving to an app or new technology method will be required to approval and ensure their app will comply with TfL guidlines.
4.Security for app based booking platforms
I agree with this proposal. It will help ensure the safety of passengers, preventing an unlicensed and uninsured driver from taking their fare.
There is definitely sufficient technology available for this, it should be left to the operator to decide upon which technology to use but scrutinised by TFL as to its efficiency and effectiveness.
5.Operator must offer a facility to pre-book up to seven days in advance
I agree with this proposal. All PH Operators are required to be prebooked, this is a long held criticism of passengers who need certainty in their travel arrangements.
Yes, passengers should be able to book as long in advance as they so wish.
6.TfL proposes to no longer issue licenses for in-venue operators or temporary events
I agree with this proposal. With the advent of smartphones to book Taxi or private hire services passengers are able to easily and quickly book their journeys home and be sure they are using a licensed vehicle.
Taxi ranks should be appointed outside each venue and should the customer require a private hire vehicles then they can either phone for one or use an app.
7.Operator must have a fixed landline telephone which must be available for passenger use at all times
I agree with this proposal. The principle of the telephone is that passengers can speak to the operator in realtime and address any issues that may arise regarding their booking.
8.Operators must not show vehicles being available for immediate hire, either visibly or virtually via an app
I agree with this proposal. Displaying a vehicle on the screen of a smartphone is “plying for hire” – PHV may not ply for hire. This is a real threat to public safety. Without an approval process for ehailing apps there is no known record of any ehailed ride as it may be hosted outside the UK.
9.Operators will be required to provide specified information including details of all drivers and vehicles to TfL on a regular basis
I agree with this proposal. TfL must have an up-to-date database of drivers, allowing them to respond quickly to infringements of the law and act accordingly. It will also help improve passenger safety, with emergency services and enforcement officers being able to correctly identify the driver quickly. This will improve passenger safety.
10.Operators must specify the fare prior to the booking being accepted
I agree with this proposal. PH Operators only take advanced pre bookings and have the advantage of being able to plan a route, taking into account the time of day, roadwork’s and other traffic problems and can accurately calculate in advance, distance and likely journey times. With this information they can quote an exact fare and advise the customer at the time of booking-again this is custom and practice for the majority of PH Operators.
11.Operators must record the main destination for each journey which must be specified at the time the booking is made
I agree with this proposal. In the interest of public safety, a precise account of where each journey is essential. It would ensure that should something go wrong, a detailed log can be consulted to better assist TfL and/or emergency services. Until recently TfL required all PH Operators to record both the pick up and the destination addresses. The details recorded should be a full postal address not just a postcode or GPS coordinates.
12.Harmonise retention periods for records
I agree with this proposal. This will make it easier for PHV operators to comply with regulations, ensuring more effective compliance. A copy of these records should be filed with TfL.
13.Limit on the number of business names attached to each Operator’s licence
I agree with this proposal. This will help TfL keep better track of each operators’ activities.
14.Specific requirement for an English Language test
I agree with this proposal. It is imperative that drivers understand everyday English, so they are able to communicate with passengers and other road users and ensure the safety and experience of passengers and others on the road.
Drivers should be able to speak and understand English to a standard that they are able to communicate with customers.
15.Drivers to only work for one operator at a time
I agree with this proposal. It is common sense to support anything that helps TfL effectively enforce PHV regulations and ensure that drivers are not tired when on the road. There have been numerous reports of PH drivers being involved in accidents after falling asleep; being able to work for multiple operators makes it impossible for operators to monitor the hours worked by their drivers.
16.Driver and Operator licence applicants to provide National Insurance numbers and share with Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
I agree with this proposal.
17.Vehicle licence to be revoked if driver licence revoked
I agree with this proposal. This will help ensure the safety of the public, by preventing unlicensed drivers from picking up fares illegally.
18.Checks on convictions of operator staff
I agree with this proposal. It is crucial for the safety of passengers that employees who deal with passengers directly and handle their details have undergone sufficient background checks. In an era where cyber-attacks/hacking is becoming more commonplace, this will be especially vital for web-based employees.
19.TfL stop accepting payment by PO and cheque
I agree with this proposal.
20.Hire and Reward insurance to be checked at point of licensing and must be in place for duration of vehicle licence
I agree with this proposal. Any licensed PH vehicle should be insured for Hire and Reward purposes at all times in parity with the taxi trade.
21.Drivers to carry or display a copy of insurance details at all times
I agree with this proposal. Licensed taxis must have Hire and Reward insurance in place at all times and have a copy of that insurance displayed in their taxi. PHV drivers should also display a certificate of the correct insurance type we suggest in place of the now defunct road fund license.
22.Hire and Reward fleet insurance in place by operators
I agree with this proposal. One of the biggest areas of concern over the safety of minicabs in London is uninsured vehicles. Currently there is no fail safe method of ensuring that a PH vehicle is insured to carry passengers for Hire and Reward. ANPR and roadside checks will only reveal if the vehicle has normal Social Domestic and Pleasure cover. Even insisting a PH vehicle is insured at the point of licensing will not resolve the current problem of drivers insuring a vehicle for H&R and then cancelling the policy after a short period in favour of a cheaper non H&R policy. If the responsibility for insurance is transferred to the Operator the potential for uninsured PH vehicles would be almost totally eliminated and the process of checking a few thousand Operators policies would be much easier than checking tens of thousands of individual policies. Addison Lee (one of London’s best operators) do exactly this, further it will tie drivers into one operator, and fleet discounts will be available rather than individual driver policies.
23.Operator licence type
I agree with this proposal. There current system is outdated. Given there are 93,000 PHVs in London, more categories need to be introduced.
24.Controls on ridesharing in licensed vehicles
I agree with this proposal. The safety of passengers and drivers is paramount. PH drivers do not possess the Knowledge of London and planning multiple pick ups and drop offs using map books or Satellite Navigation would necessitate frequent stops to input changed data, with drivers possibly being pressurised to do it whilst driving.
25.Amendment of advertising regulation to include “in” vehicle
I agree with this proposal.