Taxi drivers furious at licence charge increase

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Taxi drivers furious at licence charge increase

Postby dutchman » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:37 pm

The city's cabbies say the change puts the taxi trade at risk of extinction

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Taxi drivers in Coventry have branded planned licence charges a “disgrace”, claiming the city council is putting their trade “in danger of extinction”.

New fees for hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are recommended to be approved at a licensing committee on Tuesday, August 20.

Costs and total increase will vary depending on the type of licence sought.

Driver licence renewals could increase 39 per cent to £310, vehicle licence renewals rise 31 per cent to £245, and operator renewals increase 20 per cent to £2,000.

A new three-yearly mandatory driver refresher course costing £50 is also being introduced.

In consultation, 93 objectors responded with some labelling the move as the “final nail in the coffin” for an industry struggling with the rise of Uber – a firm currently operating unlicensed.

Others said the new fees will force them to be licenced by neighbouring authorities, or see them quit the industry altogether.

Taxi driver Simon Roberts, 54, who has been in the industry for 35 years, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The increase is, what – a 28 per cent increase?

“The rate of inflation is about three or four per cent so how can they justify a 24 per cent rise over the rate of inflation when this business is in decline as it is?

“My daily taking is around about £30 a day. It costs £25 a day to run the vehicle.

“Our business has massively declined due to outside influences and app companies.

“We barely survive now.

“It is totally unrealistic. I am relying on my wife’s job to get us through and I can’t see me being here in six months time.

“There is no future for the taxi trade in Coventry. It is dead.”

Robert Parkinson, 50, a taxi driver for 30 years, said: “It’s meant to be a non-profit organisation – how you can justify putting the prices up and we are making less money?

“They’re saying the prices are going to go up, we are saying we can’t afford for them to go up, but the council do their own thing.”

Jasvir Grewal, 66, who has been in the industry since 1983, added: “There should be more support. The price should be coming down, not up.

“How can these people afford the new taxis and the licence fees? I don’t think anybody can.”

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Re: Taxi drivers furious at licence charge increase

Postby rebbonk » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:12 pm

Yet the Wolverhampton licenced Uber cabs operate with apparent impunity!
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Re: Taxi drivers furious at licence charge increase

Postby dutchman » Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:12 am

Clean air drive to hit taxis with further cost

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Coventry’s taxis must clean up their emissions as part of the city’s clean air fight, but fears have been raised over the significant cost to do so.

Coventry City Council's cabinet is recommended to approve new emission-based licensing requirements for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles on Tuesday, August 27.

Measures are being introduced to help reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide in the city. According to the government there is evidence that the gas can inflame the airways in our lungs and, over a long period of time, affect how well our lungs work.

People with asthma are particularly affected and it can also affect vegetation.

From January, only vehicles with Euro 4 engines will have licences renewed, and new applicants must all have zero emission capability.

All vehicles must have zero emission capacity from 2024.

Replacing cars to meet emission requirements would cost around £60,000 to £70,000, a council meeting was told last year.

But Coventry council is only providing funding of £2,591 to the first 60 taxis.

A further £7,500 is offered by the government towards the cost, but this only equates to around £10,000 – leaving a significant shortfall for taxis.

Shadow cabinet member for city services Cllr Tim Mayer said: “The fact we are only going to be helping the first 60 is incredibly insulting.

“We have over 1,260 registered licenced drivers.

“It is not enough. It is a token gesture.

“We can drive income to pay for this and at the moment we are hitting people who are trying to make a living.”

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Re: Taxi drivers furious at licence charge increase

Postby rebbonk » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:00 am

This 'clean-up' of the city's air quality is going to backfire spectacularly! - Beware unintended consequences. ;)
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Re: Taxi drivers furious at licence charge increase

Postby rebbonk » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:07 pm

I thought this little piece about Uber worth sharing...

In July, an Uber driver we’ll call Dave—his name has been changed here to protect his identity—picked up a fare in a trendy neighborhood of a major U.S. metropolitan area. It was rush hour and surge pricing was in effect due to increased demand, meaning that Dave would be paid almost twice the regular fare.

Even though the trip was only five miles, it lasted for more than half an hour because his passengers scheduled a stop at Taco Bell for dinner. Dave knew sitting at the restaurant waiting for his fares to get a Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch or whatever would cost him money; he was earning only 21 cents a minute when the meter was running, compared to 60 cents per mile. With surge pricing in effect, it would be far more lucrative to keep moving and picking up new fares than sitting in a parking lot.

But Dave, who was granted anonymity out of fear of being deactivated by the ride-hail giant for speaking to the press, had no real choice but to wait. The passenger had requested the stop through the app, so refusing to make it would have been contentious both with the customer and with Uber. The exact number varies by city, but drivers must maintain a high rating in order to work on their platform. And there’s widespread belief among drivers that the Uber algorithm punishes drivers for cancelling trips.

Ultimately, the rider paid $65 for the half-hour trip, according to a receipt viewed by Jalopnik. But Dave made only $15 (the fares have been rounded to anonymize the transaction).

Uber kept the rest, meaning the multibillion-dollar corporation kept more than 75 percent of the fare, more than triple the average so-called “take-rate” it claims in financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Had he known in advance how much he would have been paid for the ride relative to what the rider paid, Dave said he never would have accepted the fare.

“This is robbery,” Dave told Jalopnik over email. “This business is out of control.”

Dave is far from alone in his frustrations. Uber and Lyft have slashed driver pay in recent years and now take a larger portion of each fare, far larger than the companies publicly report, based on data collected by Jalopnik. And the new Surge or Prime Time pricing structure widely adopted by both companies undermines a key legal argument both companies make to classify drivers as independent contractors.


Source: https://jalopnik.com/uber-and-lyft-take-a-lot-more-from-drivers-than-they-sa-1837450373?utm_source=jalopnik_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2019-08-27

Maybe all isn't well in the Uber camp?
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Re: Taxi drivers furious at licence charge increase

Postby dutchman » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:42 pm

Uber is a giant Ponzi scheme, it's been exposed often by Max Keiser and others. American drivers lose money on every mile they drive, once depreciation on their vehicles is taken into account. (I don't know if that's also true for UK drivers). Uber loses billions every year and its shares are worthless. The same is true for Amazon and Netflix.
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