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Old 17th June 2014, 07:28 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by aboman View Post
Just because something is an 'app' does not necessarily make it a disruptive technology. The disruptive part of Ubers business plan is side stepping all costs and bureaucracy involved in running a real commercial car service.

If it was illegal for a person to put an add in the paper (or craigslist etc) offering taxi services it follows that it is illegal to offer the same service through an app.

The people driving "for" Uber, Lyft, whatever are not employed by them. I doubt they have the necessary class drivers licenses. I doubt they carry the bonds & commercial insurance required from licensed taxi/car service companies. I doubt they pay the airport fees that registered companies pay to be allowed to pickup and drop off at airports.

The Uber app for 'hailing' a ride is a nice technology, but lets face it isn't rocket science. Uber could have sold their app/backend services to existing licensed taxi/car services, instead they decided to 'crowd source' the drivers. I don't know if Uber are the ones doing anything illegal, but I know most or all of the drivers driving for them are.

The sexual assault angle I think is a red herring. The real issue will be when there is an accident and a lawsuit. When the drivers insurance company finds out they were driving a taxi with normal commuting insurance they'll refuse coverage and drop the policy. Just like they do when they find out a pizza guy is delivering without a commercial policy.
This thread is essentially about Uber in the UK, and especially in London. Certainly in London Uber has fulfilled the legal requirements to operate a private hire (colloquially known as "minicab" in London) service required by the appropriate authority (Transport for London). Any individual PH drivers Uber uses should be appropriately licensed, as should - separately - their vehicles. For the driver, the process includes an enhanced criminal record check (bear in mind that use of such checks is very restricted in the UK). For vehicles, there should be the appropriate insurance. The TfL website includes a checker for PH service, driver, and vehicles.

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Old 17th June 2014, 07:29 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
This strike has been a bonanza of free publicity for Uber.

Sign ups are up 850%.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaymcgre...ndon-protests/
According to Uber, who refuse to publish any figures.
It's probably at least partially true, but they're also trying to turn the whole thing to their advantage, getting even more publicity from this claim.
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Old 17th June 2014, 09:48 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by aboman View Post
Just because something is an 'app' does not necessarily make it a disruptive technology.
Ya, that has become an annoying buzzword among actual tech professionals

Quote:
The people driving "for" Uber, Lyft, whatever are not employed by them. I doubt they have the necessary class drivers licenses. I doubt they carry the bonds & commercial insurance required from licensed taxi/car service companies. I doubt they pay the airport fees that registered companies pay to be allowed to pickup and drop off at airports.
Here is the page to become an Uber driver in London. It requires proper licencing and commercial insurance.

Quote:
The Uber app for 'hailing' a ride is a nice technology, but lets face it isn't rocket science. Uber could have sold their app/backend services to existing licensed taxi/car services, instead they decided to 'crowd source' the drivers. I don't know if Uber are the ones doing anything illegal, but I know most or all of the drivers driving for them are.

The sexual assault angle I think is a red herring. The real issue will be when there is an accident and a lawsuit. When the drivers insurance company finds out they were driving a taxi with normal commuting insurance they'll refuse coverage and drop the policy. Just like they do when they find out a pizza guy is delivering without a commercial policy.
See above. You have to be an actual professional driver with proper certification and vehicle to be on Uber.
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Old 17th June 2014, 10:19 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
See above. You have to be an actual professional driver with proper certification and vehicle to be on Uber.
If the case is that they only allow certified drivers with proof of insurance to sign up (and your link suggest it is), then I guess this case is only about semantics regarding local regulation of taxi meters/rates and I couldn't care less really, even though I have enjoyed rides in London black taxi's. Perhaps new legislation is needed to sort it out.

My opposition was aimed toward the 'ridesharing' services. It looks like Uber in the US only requires a drivers license, basic traffic insurance and to pass a background check. They apparently don't check local regulation/licensing either. I'll bow out of this UK specific thread now.

I still wouldn't call it disruptive technology though.
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Old 17th June 2014, 08:39 PM   #45
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For those of you who think Uber should have to have exactly the same standards as a taxi I want to know, why?

Uber specifically lets you pick from a selection of services at different prices and service levels. For example UberX is typically someone using their own car to make some extra coin. They still have to meet insurance requirements and the cars have to be in good working order. But the cars themselves are usually cheaper and or small (e.g. a honda sedan).

They also have the black car which are typically private car services that are using Uber as another way to acquire customers. These guys have always had it hard because have a lot of restrictions about how they get passengers and the pricing was usually "negotiated" which I think turned a lot of people off. If you want this service level you simply select the Black Car.

They also have several other levels of service that vary depending on area.

What's wrong with a range of services at different prices with different requirements?

As for the can companies they need to face reality and fix their customer service issues. They have had utterly horrible service that seems almost universal as long as I can remember. Uber has had a really large impact on my quality of life when traveling.

As for people worried about peak time charges I personally think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. If the demand is actually there competition will keep the prices in line. That being said if you are on a tight budget (as some have indicated) then I don't think having cars drive you are around makes a ton of sense at all, let alone at peak times.
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Old 18th June 2014, 03:37 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by NewtonTrino View Post
For those of you who think Uber should have to have exactly the same standards as a taxi I want to know, why?

Uber specifically lets you pick from a selection of services at different prices and service levels. For example UberX is typically someone using their own car to make some extra coin. They still have to meet insurance requirements and the cars have to be in good working order. But the cars themselves are usually cheaper and or small (e.g. a honda sedan).

They also have the black car which are typically private car services that are using Uber as another way to acquire customers. These guys have always had it hard because have a lot of restrictions about how they get passengers and the pricing was usually "negotiated" which I think turned a lot of people off. If you want this service level you simply select the Black Car.

They also have several other levels of service that vary depending on area.

What's wrong with a range of services at different prices with different requirements?

As for the can companies they need to face reality and fix their customer service issues. They have had utterly horrible service that seems almost universal as long as I can remember. Uber has had a really large impact on my quality of life when traveling.

As for people worried about peak time charges I personally think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. If the demand is actually there competition will keep the prices in line. That being said if you are on a tight budget (as some have indicated) then I don't think having cars drive you are around makes a ton of sense at all, let alone at peak times.
Virtually all of the above does not apply to how Uber can legally operate in the UK as a whole, let alone London specifically, which is what this thread is about.
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Old 18th June 2014, 08:57 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by aboman View Post
Just because something is an 'app' does not necessarily make it a disruptive technology. The disruptive part of Ubers business plan is side stepping all costs and bureaucracy involved in running a real commercial car service.

If it was illegal for a person to put an add in the paper (or craigslist etc) offering taxi services it follows that it is illegal to offer the same service through an app.
This aspect of the app isn't actually the issue at hand tho', since a Black Cab hailing app exists as well. HailoWP was started up by Black Cab drivers. Unfortunately they are under attach from current drivers - because they have extended the app to private cars.

So basically the cabbies have been 'betrayed' by their own while they've been fighting a commercial battle with their opposition.

The current battle is being fought on the legal conditions that state that private cars can not have meters installed and that the cabbies maintain that the Uber app is just that - a meter, since it calculates trip cost based on similar metrics to those in a black cab.

Note that cabbie protests about Uber are not restricted just to London. There are protests and legal action in Paris, Brussels, Toronto, Berlin and New York.
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Old 24th September 2017, 06:03 AM   #48
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I shall channel Baron Frankenstein and resurrect this thread...

22 September:

BBC News: Uber London loses licence to operate
BBC News: Uber drivers 'facing debt', passenger opinions split (video)

23 September:

BBC News: Uber - Women voice safety fears over London licence loss
BBC News: Uber London licence - 'Direct anger at firm' says mayor

24 September:

BBC News: Uber seeks talks with London mayor to renew licence
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Old 24th September 2017, 07:04 AM   #49
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The laws banning the metering of private cars is stupid. Any service you can provide for free (driving strangers around) should be legal to do for money without any additional burden.
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Old 24th September 2017, 08:02 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The laws banning the metering of private cars is stupid. Any service you can provide for free (driving strangers around) should be legal to do for money without any additional burden.
I can make people food for free. Should I be able to sell food I make with no additional burdens (like health codes)?
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Old 24th September 2017, 11:21 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
I can make people food for free. Should I be able to sell food I make with no additional burdens (like health codes)?
Yes. That is why I was especially thinking when I wrote that.
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Old 24th September 2017, 07:40 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Yes. That is why I was especially thinking when I wrote that.
The inevitable increase in various afflictions related to poor food quality/handling standards will be offset by what social benefit?

Bringing it back to the Uber issue, the assertion is that Uber is not providing its services in a safe enough manner. Some Uber customers like the convenience. Now, I have no idea what Uber's safety stats are compared to other fare operators.

In a direct conflict between public safety and public convenience, I really don't think there's an argument to be had.

Safety and rights is always a fun knock-down-drag-out discussion, but safe against convenient just smells like its going to be 5 pages of fancy word games.

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Old 24th September 2017, 07:43 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
The inevitable increase in various afflictions related to poor food quality/handling standards will be offset by what social benefit?
None as far as I can tell. But consequences have no role in government policy.
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Old 26th September 2017, 01:16 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
The inevitable increase in various afflictions related to poor food quality/handling standards will be offset by what social benefit?

Bringing it back to the Uber issue, the assertion is that Uber is not providing its services in a safe enough manner. Some Uber customers like the convenience. Now, I have no idea what Uber's safety stats are compared to other fare operators.

In a direct conflict between public safety and public convenience, I really don't think there's an argument to be had.

Safety and rights is always a fun knock-down-drag-out discussion, but safe against convenient just smells like its going to be 5 pages of fancy word games.
I think it went a tad further than plain safety statistics, Uber corporate policy/culture meant issues that should have been dealt with by the likes of the police were brushed under the carpet.

I'm glad that how a company is actually run (I. e. not the mealy mouthed PR a company issues) can be considered in whether it is a fit company to have access to the marketplace. We need more of authorities keeping companies' feet to the fire.

ETA Uber failing to report sex attacks by drivers, says Met police

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...y_to_clipboard
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Old 26th September 2017, 01:45 AM   #55
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A company being told to behave itself or it will not be allowed to trade and when it refuses, its ability to trade removed. Absolutely brilliant.

That should have happened far more often with all sorts of companies. I am quite sure that the removal of just one banking licence, Northern Rock, would have meant the rest fell into line quick time and never mis-sold again.
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Old 26th September 2017, 05:20 AM   #56
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For anyone interested enough, there's a rather long article at London Reconnections which attempts to put the case for the ban on Uber.

https://www.londonreconnections.com/...-uber-not-app/
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:48 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
ETA Uber failing to report sex attacks by drivers, says Met police

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...y_to_clipboard

Similar patterns of sexual assault and cover-ups have occurred in the US. All part of a larger cultural issue.

Uber Has Fired 20 In Wide Discrimination Probe, Including Some Senior Execs

Study: Uber and Lyft have ‘pattern of discrimination’ against black passengers

Mind you, there was an issue here a few years back where Muslim taxi drivers were refusing to pick up or transport passengers who were carrying or had clearly been drinking alcohol. Laws forbidding discrimination cost some their taxi licenses. Unfortunately, those anti-discrimination laws don't appear to apply to companies like Uber.

Found this interesting bit, a site aggregating reported incidents by Uber and Lyft drivers, including traffic fatalities, and crimes committed by drivers, worldwide.

REPORTED LIST OF INCIDENTS INVOLVING UBER AND LYFT

The biggest complaint about Uber and similar ride-sharing services like Lyft are that they do not adequately vet their employees, no background checks or any of the other public safety regulations that licensed taxis are forced to undergo. Individuals with records of violent crime are allowed to become drivers.

How risky is your Uber ride? Maybe more than you think

Taxicab regulation exists for a very good reason, and nearly entirely unregulated (in the US) services like Uber are much more prone to public safety risks. While I don't like the protectionist position that the taxicab industry is taking, they have some very valid points to make regarding rideshare services.

Excerpt:
Quote:
The fine print of Uber's terms and conditions clearly says that passengers accept a risk by using the service.

"You understand, therefore, that by using the application and the service, you may be exposed to transportation that is potentially dangerous, offensive, harmful to minors, unsafe or otherwise objectionable," Uber's terms and conditions read, "and that you use the application and the service at your own risk."

A look at Lyft's terms of service shows it operates nearly the same way. "Lyft has no responsibility whatsoever for the actions or conduct of drivers or riders," the terms of service reads. "Responsibility for the decisions you make regarding providing or accepting transportation rest solely with You... Drivers and riders use the services at their own risk."

Legal analyst and ex-prosecutor Steve Clark said that Uber and Lyft are basically trying to show through these terms of use that they are ride-matching services, rather than transportation companies. (He is not representing any passengers in lawsuits with Uber or Lyft, and he hasn't advised either company). If they can prove they are merely tech platforms, he said, they may be able to protect themselves from some lawsuits. Yet, Clark said, "it remains to be seen if their terms of use would be enough to shield them from liability."
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Old 30th September 2017, 02:56 PM   #58
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Black Cabs Matter
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Old 30th September 2017, 03:49 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
None as far as I can tell. But consequences have no role in government policy.
Hahahaha what you just wrote makes no sense.

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Old 1st October 2017, 02:14 AM   #60
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Issues raised on a Radio 2 phone in a couple of days ago -

1 - because Uber drivers get rated by customers, they are regarded as politer and more cooperative than black cab drivers.

2 - there are other apps that mean black cabs can offer the same service as Uber, so they can compete and the playing field is not as uneven as some make out.
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Old 1st October 2017, 02:37 AM   #61
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The playing field is uneven because Uber's prices are artificially low, thanks to the huge amounts of venture capital they have access to that mean they can lose $2 billion per year which other services can't afford to do.

Uber are basically the Walmart of taxi companies - they are trying to put everyone else out of business by undercutting their prices, but who knows what will happen to fares once that has happened?
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Old 1st October 2017, 05:29 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
The biggest complaint about Uber and similar ride-sharing services like Lyft are that they do not adequately vet their employees, no background checks or any of the other public safety regulations that licensed taxis are forced to undergo. Individuals with records of violent crime are allowed to become drivers.
Not in London - the market this thread is about - they can't. Uber London - like any other minicab company - only takes on drivers once they have a Public Hire Vehicle driver's licence, and to get that they are subject to criminal records and other checks. Despite their protestations about Uber's processes, it's actually Transport for London who issues PHV licences.
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Old 1st October 2017, 05:54 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
The playing field is uneven because Uber's prices are artificially low, thanks to the huge amounts of venture capital they have access to that mean they can lose $2 billion per year which other services can't afford to do.

Uber are basically the Walmart of taxi companies - they are trying to put everyone else out of business by undercutting their prices, but who knows what will happen to fares once that has happened?
Answer is obvious. They raise prices.
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Old 1st October 2017, 06:53 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Hungry81 View Post
Hahahaha what you just wrote makes no sense.

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Does it make no sense, or you disagree with it? Do you not understand that factoring in The consequences when determining a policy is a choice?

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Old 1st October 2017, 06:58 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
The playing field is uneven because Uber's prices are artificially low, thanks to the huge amounts of venture capital they have access to that mean they can lose $2 billion per year which other services can't afford to do.

Uber are basically the Walmart of taxi companies - they are trying to put everyone else out of business by undercutting their prices, but who knows what will happen to fares once that has happened?
That doesn't sound artificial. That sounds natural.
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Old 4th October 2017, 03:17 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
The playing field is uneven because Uber's prices are artificially low, thanks to the huge amounts of venture capital they have access to that mean they can lose $2 billion per year which other services can't afford to do.

Uber are basically the Walmart of taxi companies - they are trying to put everyone else out of business by undercutting their prices, but who knows what will happen to fares once that has happened?
As someone has replied, they raise prices. The question is: why is this bad?

Let me lay this out. Uber or its cohorts loses tons of money because it is backed by venture capital, according to your theory. In the meantime, the public receives equivalent services at a discount during this period of time that their competitors are being driven out. After that period, they raise the prices of their services. Oh wait....someone with venture capital steps in and offers the sames services at cheaper rates, putting Uber/cohorts in the same position as black cabs. OOPS! Uber/cohorts have to either lower prices or risk becoming obsolete.

Free market really works here. If you try to stick it to your patrons unreasonably, someone will step in and make a more reasonable profit for the same services and the market self-corrects. The winner in all of this, even if you are correct, is still the consumer.
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Old 4th October 2017, 07:49 PM   #67
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An absence of competition is not good for the consumer.

I've heard that people even have the nerve to complain about Walmart!
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