People on lower incomes cannot afford black cabs, they deserve a cheaper option

Boris Johnson, as Mayor of London, does not only have black cab drivers to consider.  He also has to consider the millions of Londoners for whom black cabs are not an option.  They simply cannot afford themborisbikes3Whatever their failings, Uber cabs fill that gap.  They are cheap, easily available, and customers love the app.  It is pointless for black cab drivers and certain London Asssembly members to try to bully Boris into banning Uber.  Assembly members know that is not an option.  Uber would be back on the roads in a few days, and the company would tie up Boris in hugely expensive legal challenges, that he would lose.

Under the circumstances, Boris is not prepared to throw the London budget down the drain.  He is doing the only thing he can do.  He is taking Uber to High Court (verdict in 6 or 7 weeks) and he is telling TfL to enforce the regs. more strictly.

A hard core group of black cab drivers, mostly the ones from United Cabbies, refuse to see anyone’s point of view but their own.  They are the ones who are aggressively foul mouthed on twitter and on the road.  I can understand Boris Johnson finally putting them in their place.  People on low wages need and deserve a cheaper option to one that they cannot afford.  Black cab drivers must accept that.

32 responses to “People on lower incomes cannot afford black cabs, they deserve a cheaper option

  1. Boris is not taking Uber to the High Court, is is defending them, whilst seeking a ruling against LTDA claims their pricing system constitutes a meter. This has nothing to do with Uber! If anything, it has everything to do with TfL wasting public money on defining what is already clearly defined, As far as cheap goes that is not always true. I have documented comparisons in price- 320 journeys in fact. What they do have, however, is a multi billion dollar marketing platform, of which the cabbies have none. So, you’re entitled to your opinion, but for objectivity reasons, do a little research into the facts. And that’s before we get into the subject of safety huh?

    • Boris isn’t defending anyone. He is seeking a ruling about the smartphone. And he has said he believes the smartphone IS a meter.

      You are entitled to your opinion, which is not impartial is it. Whatever Boris did would not suit you, because fundamentally you want Uber banned. But people have a right to consumer choice.

  2. If they are cheaper option why do they surge price the ones who cannot afford them when it’s busy. The. There are the ones that pull up outside the likes of novikov and nobu Are these the ones who cannot afford a black cab after they have just been and spent a couple of hundred on a meal. It’s American capitalism aided by this poor weak government.

    • John, whatever their faults, over a million people want them.

      • James dedson

        Yet more ill informed waffle from boriss mouthpiece.
        All them greedy London cabbies in France,Belgium,Spain,USA,Australia,India,China …uber is a tech company that circumvent the law .Boris should grow a pair ,but it all looks very corrupt to many.
        Millions want drugs and prostitutes but the law is there to protect them.
        Drop the bull please.

      • “Boris should grow a pair”. It’s nothing to do with “growing a pair”. He is not going to throw away a largechunk of the budget banning Uber himself, when they would be back on the streets in two or three days, just like they are in Germany, France, Spain etc. No country is managing to ban Uber, the mini camp. What they are banning is UberPop. which is different.

        He has explained time aftertime, if HE bans Uber, barristers have advised him he will lose. The only thing to do is to go to High Court, which he is doing. I know you want him to ban Uber, so that things can be like before, but the truth is, over a million people love the app. and like cheaper fares. Being deeply rude and unpleasant to anyone who puts Boris’s side is not doing the black cab trade any favours.

  3. How do you know a million people want them? Just because the Mayor says so? I’d say at a conservative estimate well over a million people would like to see the legalisation of certain prohibited drugs. Legalisation would certainly result in a price drop making them more affordable. Do you advocate this also?
    Your blind faith in continually backing the inept and impotent failings of our ‘woefully inadequate’ Mayor borders on the pathetic and is more than a little unsettling to witness. You consistently ignore the fact that he is choosing to fall down in his duty, whimpering that any decision he makes to revoke their license or even curtail their disregard for the Law of the Land will be overturned in Court. I haven’t seen any evidence of this happening elsewhere. Every time Uber lose a court case they shut up shop and pull out of the jurisdiction, as has been seen in a number of US cases. At best, and I do mean best, our Mayor is weak and easily cowed, or at worst, corrupted and looking out for the interests of big business over the interests of over 25,000 law abiding small businesses. Shame on him.

    • Jenny, drugs are physically harmful. Uber, far from being physically harmful, provides modern technology, which people love and cheaper fares.
      Comparing Uber to drugs is a silly comparison, that makes no sense.

      Shame on you for contemplating with equanimity the prospect of depriving people on low incomes of choice. They can’t afford black cabs, so they would have nothing. Far from being easily cowed, Boris is considering all Londoners, that includes the lower paid and the Uber drivers, many of whom would be on the dole if you and your colleagues had their way.

      You seem unable to consider anyone’s point of view except your own, and clearly are unmoved at the prospect of sacking Uber drivers, or making the only option for Londoners cabs they can’t afford or don’t want. They far prefer Uber to other minicabs. Uber has provided documented stats. of the popularity of their app to Boris apparently.
      In these circumstances, it is you who should be ashamed, you have tunnel vision and think only of yourself. Competition is part of life. I suggest you and black cab drivers face up to that fact, instead of moaning the competition should be removed, you guys need to grow a pair. (each).

      • Amazingly your repartee is always to say that others cannot see a point other than their own, which is classic projection on your part. There are some drugs that are not necessarily as harmful as some of the experiences Uber passengers endure. It is also folly to compare sexual impropriety that is pervasive in the legal and illegal minicab Industry with the isolated cases that occur in the black cab trade. Neither do I understand why he would lose so categorically. Once the driver accepts the job, effectively the contract the passenger has with Uber is over. They accept no responsibility or liability for the transport provider, which is the driver. That makes the driver at independent transport provider no different to a black cab driver. Neither he or his vehicle meet the conditions of fitness to Operate as a public hire service. These are not ‘circumventions’ of the law- a word which lawyers love when money is involved- but blatant transgressions. Now how can the legislation apply to every other British-based company but not to Uber? How is that about the ‘free market’. It is all a contradiction in terms. And to refer to your earlier point it is not similar to other countries in Europe the government opposes the operation there. Even in their birthplace California they have been ruled against. And I refer again to the cost because they are not always the cheapest transport provider and considering the guardians expose certainly should have had their license revoked, the same as every other operator would have, and that is undeniable

      • Don’t you think you would do better to sort out what is wrong in your own trade? Endlessly complaining isn’t getting you anywhere.

  4. So by allowing Uber unfettered, unregulated access to the London minicab market, Boris takes on the role of some kind of latter day Robin Hood. The well being of the poor being his main objective? What an utterly disgusting and abhorrent approach to take. How dare you cite such a ridiculously trite reason to justify this mans complete disregard for the law. Do you really, in your wildest most fantastic dreams really believe that yourself? That the Mayor is purely trying to help the less well off to be able to afford a cab home? Playing this card really does you no credit and lowers the stature of your arguments to a new low.
    Who exactly will be made jobless if Uber were to cease trading in London? Other than vehicle repair specialists, I really can’t see which Londoners would suffer. True that the majority of Uber drivers from other parts of the UK now using the App to trawl for work in London would have to return to their local areas, however as they are not licensed or cleared to work in the city by TFL this would be only right and proper. Once the facility for these unlicensed individuals to ‘ply for hire’ via Uber is removed, so then they would have to leave our already overcrowded streets. As for local drivers, they would simply return to the established, law abiding PH firms that are also suffering terribly in the face of a one sided enforcement regime. As you well know but conveniently fail to mention, it’s not just 25,000+ licensed Taxi Drivers but also the original 60,000 plus TFL minicab drivers that are also suffering real hardship. The predatory style of Ubers business model is driving established PH to the point of bankruptcy. Subsidising fares by dipping into their well funded War Chest is allowing Uber to drive down fares in an effort to starve the competiton out, and anyone who doesn’t realise that once that’s achieved, and Uber are the only player left in town, fares will go beyond the reach of the very people you say Boris is looking out for is a fool. If Uber goes no one other than the very well paid Uber office staff will be made unemployed.
    As for Ubers documented stats! Uber are notorious World wide for being economic with the truth, you only have to look at their approach to the ongoing hacking scandal to see that. You honestly ask reasonable people to believe that a company who can’t even own up to their own very public failings can be trusted with telling the truth. They can’t even be trusted to give a straight answer as to what kind of business they are (a tech company or a transport company). Who in their right mind would ever believe stat number 1 from Uber?

  5. Surely, this is a misnomer. The mayor as chair of TfL decides what vehicle we use and the meter fare – based on the running costs of said prescribed vehicle – is also determined by TfL. But, suddenly it’s the drivers that are to blame for not accommodating those on low incomes. Paradoxical!

    • Who blamed anyone for higher fares? I simply said people on low level incomes cannot afford the fares of black cabs. Nobody is blaming anyone, it is accepted that your costs are higher. What I said was if Uber were gone, people on lower incomes would be deprived of the best choice they have.

      Please do not misinterpret what I am saying. Read the title. People on lower incomes cannot afford black cabs, they deserve a cheaper option. Where does it blame black cabs?

  6. Even one that shouldn’t even be offered due to non-compliance? If that’s the case then any regulation at all is pointless, which is surely not what any sane person would advocate. As things stand Uber shouldn’t even be an option until they meet the current statutory requirements in the spirit in which they are written.

  7. They had a fixed landline, which is a legal requirement, on the day of the license application and then promptly removed it immediately after the license was granted. They are NOT operating within the spirit of the legislation they are subject to, Boris knows this and allows them to continue rather than taking them to task. His handling of this whole affair is pathetic. He is allowing a foreign company to make a mockery of UK law and is doing nothing about it. The man is an absolute joke and isn’t fit to be Mayor of our capital city.

    • Jenny Boris is taking Uber to High Court. If he banned them himself, they wud B back on the streets in 2 or 3 days, tie him up in wildly expensive legislation, WHICH HE WOULD LOSE. Two barristers told him that, look at what is happening abroad. The only way is High Court, and he has told TfL to step up regs.

      It is not just UK having problems with Uber, same everywhere and other countries are only banning UberPop. On the plus side, Uber are providing much needed employment and cheaper fares for people who simply could not afford black cab fares. Only fair to see both sides.

      boris is Mayor of ALL Londoners, not just black cab drivers. You will notice that no candidate for Mayor of London job says they will ban Uber. When it comes down to it, no politician is going to throw 3O,OOO people out of work and deprive a million people who have the Uber app. of cheaper fares.

      Boris is doing his job, considering what is best for London as a whole. I am sure BC drivers expect to be the only ones considered, but that is not how it works.

      • Angela what do you not get? Boris is not taking them to court. TfL -ridiculously in my opinion- deemed themselves unqualified to determine the definition of a taximeter, so they seek a high court ruling. But TfL are arguing the case that the system Uber uses does not constitute a meter. The LTDA are contesting this. More recently Boris has announced that he thinks it is a meter, but regardless he still allowing Hendy to pursue the case in favour of Uber. There are many incidences where Hendy has referred to having faith in Boris. But not in this case strangely enough. Boris could call it off tomorrow and save the public purse and awful lot of money. Even more so considering his admittance at City Hall that a ruling against them would be pretty much ineffectual. What understanding waste of time!

      • Why should Boris call it off, we need the verdict.

      • Sean, Boris has sent you all a letter, to reassure you. https://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/statement-from-boris-johnson-for-the-black-cab-trade/ Have put copy of it on my blog. There is a contact link on it. You can report anything you see that Uber are doing that breaks regs. Please believe me when I say he has done the letter to reassure you all.

  8. Which two Barristers told him that?

    • I didn’t get their names! Months ago, Boris took very expensive legal advice and consulted two barristers. You only have to look abroad. Anyone who bans Uber the minicab service, sees them back on the streets in 2 or 3 days! They are then tied up for months in hugely expensive legal challenges, WHICH THEY LOSE. Boris has far too much respect for public funds to do anything so idiotic. The only hope is the High Court ruling, which will establish if Uber smartphone is legal or not.

      It is so frustrating Jenny. I have repeated these facts for months, to be told I am lying. It is obvious from what is happening abroad that the advice he received is correct.

      • It’s disingenuous, because Uber take instant hire as well as tout, it’s very difficult to differentiate between the two, and/or provide unequivocal proof. imagine if you had to distinguish if a black cab was doing that. The same thing.

      • You should report everything you think is a break of regulations to that new contact link.

  9. Please stop using the situation abroad as an excuse for the shocking lack of enforcement from the Mayor and TFL. There are conditions set down in UK Law with regard to licensing Taxi and PH operatives, and Uber are flouting a number of them. The Mayor DOES have the power to suspend or revoke their license and if the only excuse not to do this that he can field is that it’s inevitable he’d lose on appeal, then it just only goes to reinforce the feeling that he is a waste of space! A Mayor of one of the greatest city’s on Earth needs to have some strength and integrity. He has neither.

  10. I don’t agree. We can see from what has happened abroad that whenever anyone challenges Uber minicabs, they get nowhere unless they go to High Court. They are tied up in endless legal wrangling for months. The quality of evidence obtained by TfL has not been good enough to ban Uber. Boris has too much respect for public funds to go that route unless he has more conclusive evidence.

    To ban Uber, proper evidence is needed. BC drivers throwing hissy fits not enough. Boris has arranged for a new contact line on the letter he sent to all BC drivers. Anyone aware of rule breaking can immediately report Uber on that line. As I am sure you know, the Mayor is bound by the law. No court is going to ban Uber based on the hysterical flights of fancy, and conspiracy theories produced by over-excited cabbies. It takes a lot more than that.

  11. Replies like that only go to show why so many people pay you no heed at all. You seem to be incapable of sustaining a reasonable argument without resorting to trying to belittle those who do not agree with you. To my mind it only goes to prove that your arguments are weak and poorly constructed.
    As for Boris having concern for the public purse…. If this is the line you are going to take, well then we’ll leave it here. Boris Jonson does not care a jot for the public purse and never has. His support of the ridiculous Garden Bridge and cost of his Boris Bikes scheme certainly bear that out.
    Our conversation on here has led to me learning a little more about you. Evidently you are a formidable Tweeter, so much so that at last count you had three separate accounts on Twitter, of course all with different names and all voicing a very strong support for all things Boris. I’m told that you and your other alter egos have even had conversations on there. You know what they say about people who talk to themselves don’t you?
    Incidentally, working for the Mayor and volunteering to oversee Blogs for him do not constitute working for him, not in the sane sense anyway.

  12. If Boris says I’m working for him,that’s good enough for me. Nick Ferrari announced it on LBC BTW.

    Am sorry I continually have to contradict the statements of London Assembly members, but I don’t agree. The facts don’t bear out what is said..
    It’s really a shame it has got like this, and there is such a bad atmosphere now. I can only tweet what I feel is true,and Boris has a right for someone to put his side,just like everybody else does..

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