Category: Regulation

20 Feb

Uber: Underpaid, assaulted and disillusioned UK drivers file lawsuit exposing dark side of company

Taxi Truths Driver Satisfaction, News, Race to the bottom, Regulation, Safety Issues, Story, Surge pricing

While Uber might have dodged attempts by Transport for London (TfL) to regulate the app-based taxi firm, British drivers have now revealed that they are so badly treated by the company they are now suing the firm for workers’ rights and compensation for lost earnings.

James Farrar, 47, from Hampshire, was formerly a software developer. In January 2015 he decided to start an NGO advocating better networked rights for workers. To support himself while working on his NGO, he decided to become an Uber driver.

However, just three months after he joined, Farrar was assaulted by a passenger during an Uber job. When the police wanted to investigate his case, Uber took 10 weeks to cooperate with the law and provide the details of the customer who assaulted him.

“I realised I had no rights. Uber has all the control, over the customer details, over how much I can charge, over which passengers I take, but I take all the risks. If I crash, get injured or assaulted, it’s all on me. I realised that if Uber didn’t cooperate, there’s nothing I could do about it,” Farrar, a founding member of the United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) union, told IBTimes UK.

“When I went to talk to Uber about why it had taken 10 weeks, they were quite hostile to me. The head of driver operations accused me of trying to record the meeting and then said I was trying to ‘reverse engineer the process’. I don’t even know what that means.”
Weekly Uber earnings below the minimum wage.

To read full article click here

Source: International Business Times

18 Feb

Taxi union asks court to ban drivers from using Uber app in Ottawa

Taxi Truths News, Race to the bottom, Regulation, Story

The union representing the city’s taxi drivers wants a judge to put the brakes on Uber drivers in Ottawa, prompting the multinational ride-ordering company to accuse cabbies of protectionism.

The union is seeking an injunction against drivers using the Uber application to pick up fee-paying passengers.

Amrik Singh, president of the taxi union, said he believes the public would prefer cabbies using legal channels in their fight against Uber rather than disruptive action witnessed in other cities and in Ottawa during the airport taxi dispute.

“I think public should be happy that we’re not blocking the road,” Singh said Thursday.

The city is reviewing its taxi bylaw to see how Uber could be folded into the regulatory system, but the taxi union says it can’t wait for politicians to take action. Uber drivers continue to cut into cabbies’ livelihoods, Singh said

“We have to look other ways to stop them,” he said.

To read full article click here

Source: Ottawa Citizen

12 Feb

Uber should be regulated like taxis, say Canadians in new poll

Taxi Truths News, Regulation, Story

A majority of Canadians believe the ride-sharing service Uber should be subject to the same regulations as taxis, a new poll suggests.

The survey, conducted by the Angus Reid Institute and published Friday, indicates 63 per cent of Canadians feel the government should regulate Uber the same way it regulates taxis, while just 37 per cent said that Uber should be allowed to continue operating without those regulations.

The poll comes shortly after taxi drivers in Toronto called off a strike that might have disrupted the NBA All-Star Game scheduled for this weekend. Taxi protests have also erupted in other parts of the country, most notably in Montreal this week.

Uber is currently barred in Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city. But the poll suggests the vast majority of Canadians are open to Uber operating in their communities.

One-third of respondents said “yes, definitely” to Uber operating where they live, while another 40 per cent said “maybe, under the right circumstances.” Only 17 per cent of Canadians surveyed said Uber should not be allowed to operate in their communities.

To read full article click here

Source: CBC

12 Feb

Uber: The Hits Just Keep On Coming

Taxi Truths News, Race to the bottom, Regulation, Story

Latest round of Uber price cuts accelerate the “race to the bottom.”

  • Customer service and vehicle safety will decline as drivers try to make up for less revenue.
  • This is the exact pattern NYC faced in the 1930s and why the Haas Act was passed.
  • Taxi medallion financial industry players, like lenders, will reap the benefits.

The glory days of Uber (Private:UBER) are over. Uber is facing increasing headwinds as it enters 2016. Recent developments may be good news for taxi medallion financial industry players and those considering investing in Uber privately or a possible IPO should be cautious.

To read full article click here

Source: Seeking Alpha

11 Feb

Edmonton cabbies make changes to lure customers from Uber

Taxi Truths News, Regulation, Story

Edmonton’s taxi companies are trying to “win back” customers they’ve lost to Uber.

Cab services are encouraging their drivers to freshen up their image by enhancing their riders’ experience.

The United Cabbies Association of Edmonton has laid out a ten step plan to improve taxi service.

  1. Welcoming all customers with a smile
  2. Asking drivers to open and close the door for customers
  3. Keeping cars clean inside and outside
  4. Not talking on the phone when a driver has a customer. If a driver has to answer the phone, they are asked to answer in English and make it a very short conversation
  5. Offering gum to customers
  6. No trip refusals, regardless of customer destination
  7. Encouraging drivers to carry water bottles for customers
  8. A suggestion of providing a red rose for customers on Valentine’s Day
  9. Driving within speed limits and staying focused
  10. No long conversations with customers about politics and religion

Abouzar Aslam, vice president of the United Cabbies Association of Edmonton, expressed hope that the new plan will allow taxi companies to be more competitive.
To read full article click here

Source: CTV News Edmonton

09 Feb

Uber complains city council’s ‘unworkable rules’ will prevent them from coming to Calgary

Taxi Truths News, Regulation, Story

We believe Calgary has set a standard that looks at keeping peoples safety a priority. Uber needs to accept that having criminals drive taxis in uninsured cars and not paying taxes is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

February 9, 2016 – Uber complains city council’s ‘unworkable rules’ will prevent them from coming to Calgary

CALGARY – Ride-sharing service Uber is blasting Calgary’s city council in a letter sent to their subscribers on Monday.
Related

In the message, Uber states that although they’ve made meaningful progress in Alberta with Edmonton adopting ride-sharing regulations, here in Calgary “things don’t look so good.”

“Despite our efforts to work collaboratively, city staff have drafted unworkable rules that would prevent us from coming to Calgary.”

Uber is concerned about amendments to the Livery Transport Bylaw which would force drivers to undergo a police background check, be properly insured, hold a proper Class 4 licence and have their vehicle undergo safety checks.

The company complains the proposed rules “create too much red tape.”

To read full article click here

Source: Global News

07 Feb

Uber drivers working up to 19 hours a day just to get by

Taxi Truths News, Regulation, Story

The city’s Uber drivers stay behind the wheel up to 19 hours a day to make ends meet, and say the company’s new fare cuts could make things even worse for them — and put passengers at risk.

“I have to work 16 hours a day to make enough money to support my family,’’ said Jugal Hinwar, 28, who has been an Uber driver for two years. “Last week, I worked 19 hours in one day, and I slept in the car at JFK.”

Another driver, Siraj Khondker, 55, described the dangers.

“It’s not good for us or for the passengers,” he said. “Your brain gets tired. Your eyes get tired. You can fall asleep. I am driving so I have to be focused, and I have to be alert or accidents can happen.”

Uber allows its drivers to work up to 100 hours a week, or an average of 14 hours and 15 minutes a day. That’s two hours more than the city’s yellow cabbies are allowed to be behind the wheel.

The Uber drivers say they have to work such long hours because they make much less money than they used to, since there are so many more of them on the streets.

And now that the company has slashed prices by 15 percent, the drivers gripe that they’re feeling the pinch even more.

More than 300 Uber drivers protested at the city’s airports last week, saying that the rate slash, along with the company hiring many more hacks, is hurting their ability to make a living.

To read full article click here

Source: New York Post

01 Feb

Toronto Taxi Alliance applauds Brampton mayor’s actions on bandit cabs

Taxi Truths News, Regulation, Story

BRAMPTON, ON, Feb. 1, 2016 /CNW/ – The Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) today applauded Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey for her principled stance against illegal, unlicensed and unregulated bandit cabs in that city.

“Congratulations and commendations to Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey for showing leadership in her municipality, and support for the legal taxi industry,” says TTA spokesperson Sam Moini. “In Toronto, we have been waiting since October 1st for the City to take action against UberX, an unregulated service operating illegally and without insurance. Toronto has refused to fulfill its obligations to enforce the law. Mayor Jeffrey is showing how it can be done.

Brampton is engaged in a very interesting and progressive debate, as it recognizes that illegal bandit cabs such as UberX take advantage of city infrastructure and services while contributing nothing to its tax base,” Moini notes.

Illegal, unlicensed and unregulated ride sharing operators have popped up all over the country using municipal roads developed and maintained by local taxpayers.

“At a time when all municipalities are scrambling to access every dollar they can to protect programming, these companies use infrastructure paid for by taxpayers, without contributing one dime,” Moini notes. “In the case of Uber, every fare collected is immediately transferred to the Netherlands for processing. None of it is reinvested in local communities where they operate.”

In a letter sent to Peel Taxi Alliance vice president Joe Farrugia on January 22nd, Mayor Jeffrey stated, “Ride sharing companies that are operating without proper licensing in our community have not made any investment from which they derive their income. This is patently unfair to all Brampton taxpayers.”

To read full article click here

Source: News Wire

31 Jan

Quebec taxi drivers to file injunction to ban Uber

Taxi Truths News, Regulation, Story

 

Taxi drivers and owners from across Quebec are planning to file an injunction to ban Uber in the province.

Members of the Regroupement des travailleurs autonomes Métallos, which represents 4,000 taxi drivers and owners, met for their general assembly in Montreal on Sunday.

They discussed an action plan for fighting against the rise and what they say is unfair competition from the popular ride-sharing service Uber.

Taxi drivers say the market isn’t big enough for everyone, and they’re asking the province of Quebec to crack down on Uber and force its drivers to abide by taxi industry rules.

To read full article click here

Source: CBC

26 Nov

Competition Commissioner: Taxis, ride-share apps and consumers deserve a level playing field

Taxi Truths Driver Satisfaction, News, Race to the bottom, Regulation, Safety Issues, Story, Surge pricing

When was the last time you watched a movie on VHS? In the early 2000s, nobody was talking about banning DVDs to protect those who manufactured VCRs and video tapes. Instead, we embraced innovation and benefited from the superior quality of DVDs.

Why, then, are some regulators taking steps to ban ride-sharing applications?

Apps, such as those offered by Uber and Lyft, can provide Canadians with more choice, lower prices and better service. Recent reports found that Uber prices in Ottawa were about 36 per cent less than taxi fares, and that passengers in Toronto waited an average of nine minutes for a traditional taxi, but two to four minutes for an Uber driver.

Despite these benefits, both ride sharing and taxi drivers – and their customers – are suffering due to taxi regulations that restrict the competitiveness of ride-sharing apps in the marketplace.

While the taxi industry is heavily regulated in Canada, ride-sharing services are not. This creates an uneven playing field in the industry.

To read full article click here

Source: The Globe and Mail