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Taxi Drivers Not Happy

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A closed shop job, I cannot see why you cannot have a level playing field and allow people to choose either a more expensive but maybe more efficient black cab service or a cheaper private hire option that may not be quite so good but still gets the job done.

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I looked into setting up as a taxi driver it is a closed shop job.

The council in my city has restricted the no of hackney plates it gives out so they sell on the black market for around 30k (plate only) the actual cost of them is about £15 from the council when they do issue one or 2 in a lottery once in a while.

A lot of other councils around the country have derestricted the numbers thus putting an end to the black market trade in plates. This was due to the OFT recomendation to the government that all councils derestrict

So you take a big gamble buying one on the black market for 30k it could become worthless overnight.

I am really so pleased to see some competition opening up this industry I wish Hailo every success and will certainly be using their APP

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A closed shop job, I cannot see why you cannot have a level playing field and allow people to choose either a more expensive but maybe more efficient black cab service or a cheaper private hire option that may not be quite so good but still gets the job done.

Which is precisely the current system.

The issue for the black cab drivers is they've supported (and pretty much helped create) the "HAILO. The Black Cab App." which sold themselves to cabbies as "winning back passengers and really taking the fight to Private Hire" only to find them "pivoting" to becoming private hire...

I can see why they are annoyed, though uninstalling the app rather than graffitiing their office would have been more productive.

Personally i think Hailo are making a strategic mistake, just like they did 6 months ago when upping the minimum fare. Black cabs are actually a lot cheaper than minicabs for short trips and this increase it seemed killed their traffic. They backtracked recently...

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Services like Hailo are popping up in the US too.

I understand it costs over $1m do 'obtain' a NY Yellow Cab licence. You can imagine how NY cabbies will react to competition.

A lot of the new taxi/ride-sharing services have no bricks-and-mortar presence, they exist only in cyberspace, so there will be nothing for the cabbies to attack (except competing cabs). Could get nasty in the US and in the UK too.

On a slightly different note, if self driving cars become the norm, and are inherently safer, insurance premiums should, logically, drop. Insurance companies want spying boxes in cars to monitor drivers, and this is being supported by the EU. Things are going to change in the car insurance industry too.

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BTW IIRC an HPC poster was 'doing the knowledge'.

Can anyone remember who?

Rave but see his comments near the start of the car breakers thread in OT.

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Can recall black cab drivers getting all upset over those pedal taxi's in the West End. They seemed to survive that technological leap.

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Surely opening this industry would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and make getting a taxi affordable.

Just as it is in Bangkok.

I see it the other way. At the moment you have a regulated industry which means the drivers have to learn the knowledge, pay proper insurance pay their tax etc.

De-regulating totally would take away livelihoods from thousands, many of whom are at an age where they'd never get work again. Ok, so you'd benefit fly-by-night hipsters and unlicensed wide-boys in their place. No good will come of this... (I dislike the attitude of many taxi drivers, but at least currently they are licensed and pay proper insurance etc)

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FFS!! Have Londoners become so precious now that they can't flag a taxi down without a smart phone. Jeez!*

* or am I just showing my age?

Hailo is great, not every time you want to flag a black cab you are in the vicinity where there are a lot if them driving past. These type of apps let's you get a can from anywhere.

I can see why the black cab aren't happy, Hailo was meant to help them compete against the private hire.

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I see it the other way. At the moment you have a regulated industry which means the drivers have to learn the knowledge, pay proper insurance pay their tax etc.

De-regulating totally would take away livelihoods from thousands, many of whom are at an age where they'd never get work again. Ok, so you'd benefit fly-by-night hipsters and unlicensed wide-boys in their place. No good will come of this... (I dislike the attitude of many taxi drivers, but at least currently they are licensed and pay proper insurance etc)

The best rides I have had from central London over thirty years have been form polite mini cab drivers of all races, the worst including three rows, my brother and I telling the 'professional driver' he was taking the pee with his route (Kings Cross to Barnet via Chingford!!)

Not to say countless black cabs not stopping for a legitimate fare, They are rude goons who have spent 3 years on a moped and think they deserve the respect of a doctor or policeman

Addison Lee and their ilk are in a different league

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Use hailo to hail a cab, then order a pizza from Just Eat on the way home. Then use an app to ensure the direct debit to the letting agent has gone through for the months rent, most of which will go to a landlord who is renting from a bank.

Who said the middleman can't survive.

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I see it the other way. At the moment you have a regulated industry which means the drivers have to learn the knowledge, pay proper insurance pay their tax etc.

De-regulating totally would take away livelihoods from thousands, many of whom are at an age where they'd never get work again. Ok, so you'd benefit fly-by-night hipsters and unlicensed wide-boys in their place. No good will come of this... (I dislike the attitude of many taxi drivers, but at least currently they are licensed and pay proper insurance etc)

Depends what you mean by deregulation. What's happened in the taxi world is that the councils have stopped limiting the number of licences they issue. This reduces costs to cabbies (as they no longer need to stump up tens of thousands to buy one) and increases the number of cabs on the streets. This is good for customers as there are now plenty of taxis. Not sure how it's panned out for drivers as, while their costs have decreased, their competition has increased. The market will find its level, though.

What's not happened is any reduction in required standards. Round here it's increased massively. Drivers now need CRB (or whatever it's called today), English language (actually not sure if that's been implemented yet), and a miniture local "knowledge" test. A few years back they just needed a driving licence and the wonga to buy a licence.

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Depends what you mean by deregulation. What's happened in the taxi world is that the councils have stopped limiting the number of licences they issue. This reduces costs to cabbies (as they no longer need to stump up tens of thousands to buy one) and increases the number of cabs on the streets. This is good for customers as there are now plenty of taxis. Not sure how it's panned out for drivers as, while their costs have decreased, their competition has increased. The market will find its level, though.

What's not happened is any reduction in required standards. Round here it's increased massively. Drivers now need CRB (or whatever it's called today), English language (actually not sure if that's been implemented yet), and a miniture local "knowledge" test. A few years back they just needed a driving licence and the wonga to buy a licence.

To be honest a DBS, a verified driving test along with a language test.....should surfice along with a general knowledge test of local area plus a satnav.....what more should be required to keep people safe and informed?

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BTW IIRC an HPC poster was 'doing the knowledge'.

Can anyone remember who?

As 7YI correctly remembered it was me, but I've been having second thoughts, as well as putting it on the back burner for personal reasons. Initially I was concerned that Uber and/or self driving cars would do away with the need for The Knowledge, but actually I'm not that convinced. What's giving me far more pause for thought is that I would be tying myself to London, and as time goes on, that seems more and more like a bad idea. As property prices get more and more insane here it increasingly looks like I'll never be able to afford the type of house I've always wanted to live in, I.E. somewhere with a garden, 3+ bedrooms and a decent garage, anywhere within a comfortable commuting distance. I also worry that as rents / mortgage payments etc. get ever higher the disposable income of Londoners will get squeezed to the extent that they'll be a lot less blase about throwing down 30 quid for a ride home after a night out, or a tenner to save themselves a 20 minute walk or a bus/tube ride durting the day. Then there's the fact that a lot of expensive homes in London aren't actually lived in any more, just bought and sat on by overseas investors! Again, fewer punters for black cabs as people are squeezed out of the centre. Increasingly I think cabs are going to have to rely on business people and tourists (and MPs on expenses :D ), all of which could be susceptible to an economic downturn.

Others have said it, but I think it bears clarifying- yes being a Licenced Taxi Driver in London is debatably a closed shop, but the barrier to entry is not coming up with the upfront cash to buy a plate, it's the 2-3 years to do the knowledge. Absolutely anyone can apply (a colleague of mine from work is doing well in his appearances, and he's an immigrant from Africa), and AFAIK there has never been any restriction on the number of Green Badges issued (in a few suburban Yellow Badge areas there are restrictions, but only about 3 out of 8 areas, and in any case I get the impression that there's not a lot of money in being a Yellow). If you were on the dole you could do it on a bicycle, really the cash cost is pretty minimal, it's just the time. And I do believe that black cabs are an important and useful amenity- if you walk out of a train station in London and are late for something you can usually hail one within a minute, and 95% of the time you'll get where you're going quicker than using any other means of immediately available transport (Bromptons possibly notwithstanding). Some infrastructure is required to make that amenity so useful, like taxi ranks and access to bus lanes, which would be lost if anyone and everyone was allowed to use them. And I personally think that until every satnav or driverless car contains a neural supercomputer and near instant access to realtime traffic data they will not be able to beat a cabby across town when roads get closed, roadworks spring up etc. etc.

I think the cabbies are playing a dangerous game here. I don't blame them at all for telling Hailo to poke it, though vandalising their offices is taking it too far, they should just stop using the service. But deliberately causing traffic chaos to protest about other minicab booking apps is getting dangerously close to the union gangsterism employed by Tube Drivers- and pretty much everyone hates them, I certainly can't wait until driverless trains make them all redundant! Minicabs in London already have to register for background checks with the PCO and obtain a licence, which I daresay is revoked if their car is found to be dangerous etc. People already have the choice of walking out of a station and ringing a minicab office, who will know where their cabs are and direct the nearest one to them- in that regard automated smartphone apps are only really doing the man in the cab office out of a job! TBH cabbies should be making more of a point of their virtues rather than trying to shut down competitors who are already at a disadvantages through not being able to use taxi ranks and bus lanes, or stop on Red Routes etc. etc. I suppose there is the potential that if the apps get good enough you'll suddenly get thousands of minicab drivers speculatively cruising round Central London waiting for a ping on their phone, rather than driving Mrs Miggins back from the supermarket with her weekly shop, but TBH I can't see it happening.

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It's also interesting to see that a lot of people here have a poor opinion of black cab drivers. This chap certainly does:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9126692/the-case-against-london-black-cabs/

Again they don't seem to help their case much.

FWIW I personally am scrupulously honest except when I'm dealing with government, and if I do make it as a cabbie I'll probably find myself apologising and knocking a bit off the fare if I think I've inadvertently taken a bad route! :D

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Never fancied being a taxi driver in a big city. Done it in a wee ski resort which was great - can't imagine a city would be as much fun.

I find many taxi drivers very poor at basic human interaction. When the customer gets in - its up to them if they want to chat or not. I found it pretty easy to work that out after about 20 seconds. Many taxi drivers don't seem able to do this.

They think their job is also to talk to you non stop until you arrive at your destination. It can be very irritating.

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It's also interesting to see that a lot of people here have a poor opinion of black cab drivers. This chap certainly does:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9126692/the-case-against-london-black-cabs/

Again they don't seem to help their case much.

FWIW I personally am scrupulously honest except when I'm dealing with government, and if I do make it as a cabbie I'll probably find myself apologising and knocking a bit off the fare if I think I've inadvertently taken a bad route! :D

I don't think you would be allowed to! The meter says it all!

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I don't think you would be allowed to! The meter says it all!

Pfft, who's ever going to know?

The flipside of course is that whenever anyone bilks me out of an honestly earned fare I will be extremely angry! In the end I had to get promoted from being a bus driver to an inspector because I just couldn't stop having fare disputes with chancers! I'd have ended up getting stabbed or something!

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And I personally think that until every satnav or driverless car contains a neural supercomputer and near instant access to realtime traffic data they will not be able to beat a cabby across town when roads get closed, roadworks spring up etc. etc.

Could be sooner than you think. My imaginary uncle took one of these on his last holiday on Aldeberan IV.

01%20Robby%20Space%20Patrol%20Car%20Kit%

You should see the size of the Krell computer they used for congestion traffic zoning though.

And the driver's converstation left something to be desired: " Guess who I 'ad in the back of me cab last week. R2D2."

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Part of the article talks about the Uber service. I used this in Boston last year to get a lift to the airport. You basically pay a tenner more for cleaner and fancier car, help with your luggage, safer drive and more pleasant driver, and right to your door. Also you don't have to tip as it's all handled on the website. I'd use it again.

I was absolutely sick of Boston taxi drivers after a month, they pull out every trick in the book, that's if you can manage to hail one if you don't look like a gullable tourist they don't stop, and you have to look out for unlicensed taxis with dodgy meters. All but one of about 30 drivers during my stay were black drivers, spoke broken English, and the one white guy just happened to be honest and English speaking. The Uber guy was black I should say, but spoke full English and he was a good chap. Color isn't relevant, but people's backgrounds and the way they define customer service is.

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