Black cab drivers must avoid a PR disaster and modernise – FAST

Let’s suspend all the arguments about whose fault this is, (although the facts prove it is not the fault of the Mayor) and look at the situation black cab drivers are in from a purely PR point of view.  Black cabs are a class item, like Rolex watches, for the first time facing tough challenges, from the EU, and from other companies. sherlockcab2Any PR agency would advise drivers to radically alter their attitude on twitter and the social media.  Even if Uber and other mini cabs don’t kill off the trade, some black cab drivers on twitter seem hell bent on doing it on their own.  Perception is so important, but cab drivers aren’t helping themselves.

a)  Don’t give business to your competitors.  Many cab drivers are at the moment proclaining on twitter “Boris is killing the black cab trade!” “The black cab trade is finished!”  “We will be dead in two years!”  “We can’t compete!  We are finished!”  The result of such statements, however sympathetic other tweeters may be, is to think “Gosh!  I better get that app. with Uber!”  Remarks that even hint that the black cab trade is dying merely hand business to your competitors, because who has faith in a dying industry?

b) Don’t be negative or look for someone to blame.  Loudly saying on twitter it is all Boris Johnson’s fault just makes black cab drivers look like victims. It is not the Mayor’s fault that he has to comply with EU regulations. Only the High Court can ban Uber.  The London Assembly has produced a cross party initiative to help.  The Mayor is bringing in new regulations regarding drivers who don’t speak English.  Looking for a scapegoat and endlessly complaining only hurts the industry, nobody else. If some members of the London Assembly try to gee you up, it is the Mayor’s fault – well they would, wouldn’t they.

c)  Modernise and fast!  A gentle suggestion from the Mayor that the trade should modernise is met with outright anger, or furious tweets, “I have Halo, do you know anything about the cab trade” and “He is talking rubbish as usual. ” Other drivers tell me not very many drivers have Halo, and Halo isn’t much good anyway, because they are representing a minicab company now. The black cab trade needs their own app.   ASAP.

d) Never get abusive to people who don’t agree with you.  Some drivers are so unpleasant and personally abusive, I wouldn’t get in their cabs if they paid me!  Fortunately, this is the minority, but this sort of attitude is noticeable on twitter, and once again, hands business to the opposition.

e)  Emphasise the benefits of black cabs! Twitter is free, use it to explain why black cabs are so much better.

If an industry dies, it is never the fault of only one person, and sometimes the situation can be saved by a positive attitude.  I have been giving out the link for the webcam of the last Mayor’s Question Time in which Boris Johnson talks a lot of sense. (One tweeter snapped at me I was “patronising him.”  I was only trying to help). For everyone who would like to listen to the Mayor, the webcam is here.

10 responses to “Black cab drivers must avoid a PR disaster and modernise – FAST

  1. surely a taxi should be a taxi, how many times have myself or people who l know tried to get a taxi home only to be told sorry, i can’t pick you up im a yellow badge not a green, what’s that all about, how are tourists or the general public meant to know this silly rule, any where else eg the states a yellow taxi is a yellow taxi, i can get in anyone, for god sake let all taxis be used for ferrying customers around where ever, surely then uber and other mini cabs might disapear, and make it safer for us ladies.

    • Taxis are taxis. Black cabs have the right to pick up passengers from the street, minicabs do not.

  2. The trade does have an app. Not only that Maaxi, an ‘integrated’ ride sharing app was needlessly held up by TFL for 18 months, even though it met regulations that Uber were given concessions for. Personally, I drive a £40,000 Merc- one option of 2 vehicles- and the meter fare is bench and the cost index of running that purpose built vehicle. All of which is authorised by THE MAYOR!

    Additionally, I am on an App, I take cash, cashless, CC and have Wifi. Where do I need to modernise? 25,000 sole traders strictly regulated by TFL aren’t afforded an billion dollar platform.

    Thankfully, due to accidents, account hacking, and driver impropriety it seems passengers are returning to black cabs. UBER’s severely lax vetting process is a serious Mayorality overlook. I’m sorry but due to his total autonomy the buck does stop with him!

    • There is no app that is recognised by the public as the black cab app, like they recognise the Uber app. Until you have that, and every black cab has it, impossible to promote black cabs. It’s no good SOME people have technology. You all need to have it.

    • Uber High Courtdecision in a couple of months, he has told TfL to step up the observance of regulations. Nothing morehe can do, he is not going to ban cheaper competition.

  3. Pingback: If Caroline Pidgeon really wanted to help the black cab trade, she would help them to modernise | CYBERBORISjohnson

  4. Hailo was here long before Uber, until recently they’ve started using MINICABS and lot of drivers left and now use the GetTaxi app with nearly 5000 drivers on it.

  5. Once again Angela, spouting more drivel ( Just like BJ ) to avoid confronting the real issue here. Firstly you say black cabs have to modernise? May I remind you that Black Cabs were the first to implent app technology! Halio was promised by its creators as a Black Cab only app and as a result, drivers promoted the app extensively. Low and behold Halio reneged on their promise and sold the app to mini cab companies as in their words “We are unable to compete with the likes of Uber under the current format” so I guess Black Cabs are not the only ones. In other words, Black Cabs we’re sold a lie and helped build an app that ultimatley stabbed the trade in the back.

    You say that ” It’s not Boris Johnsons fault” that only a high court can ban Uber. This is completely wrong, its all his fault!
    First off, how come Uber we’re granted an operators liscence in the first place? They have no landline number, pay tax offshore and operate in the Here and now market!

    Neeed I remind you of the current legislation that states that all Private Hire Companies are only allowed to offer a “Prebooked” service?

    Do me a favour and try booking a Uber for tomorrow afternoon. When you find that they are not able to fulfill that request, I hope it renforces the fact that you honestly do not have a clue what you are talkin about. Nor do I beleive that you even care.

    Try as you may to portray Black Cab Drivers and moaning dinosaurs who refuse to accept change, the real issue these drivers have is you are allowing a non tax paying corperate bemoth to operate in a market which they have no right to be in. Black cab drivers have to buy a purpose built vehicle costing over £35,000, their fares are regulated by TFL and they invest 4+ years studying the Knowledge Of London for the sole right to Ply For Hire in the “Here and Now” market using a meter to reflet that level of knowledge.

    All Black Cab Drivers want is a level playing field, the fact remains that Uber should never have been liscensed in the first place ( Remind me who the Mayor was at the time of licensing?) Uber are useing a meter which they are not allowed to, they use instant hail technology which they are not allowed to, the do not have the correct hire & reward insurance which is firstly illegal and more to the point, frankly terrifying , they pay tax offshore which is detremental to every tax paying citizen of this country and they use drivers who are aimlessly following sat navs which is a danger to all road users. Shall I go on?

    In your blind but amicable defence of Boris Johnson you are completely missing the point Black Cab Drivers are trying to make, which funny enough is the same mistake your hero BJ is making.

    As Mayor Of London, Boris has a responsibility as a custodian of this great city to protect its inhabitants, his actions on this and many other matters shows that he really couldn’t care less about that duty.

    Please, go educate yourself about the current situation London is facing and save your misdirected and impassioned defence of the indefencable for another day because I swear, you will not realsie what you have got till its gone.


    • Many thanks for feedback. Let’s see what happens with the High Court case. I am a huge fan of black cabs, whatever you think of my my defence of Boris Johnson and would never use minicabs or Uber. In spite of what you think, I am on the side of black cabs.

      I have talked to a lot of black cab drivers, and stick with my point, if you could all get an app. that belonged to you alone and could arrange for this app. to be in every black cab, it would be a huge help for you.

      I repeat, I wish the trade nothing but good, it is not my intention to offend. My comments are a result of all the cab drivers I talk to.

  6. Blacks cabs do need to modernise and most of all, they need to get going with that app! Every black cab driver should have one, and they need to advertise. You have to move with the times, no point sitting there waiting for the axe to fall.

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