Tuesday, November 21, 2017
The Scandal Continues : Criminals Driving For Uber In Southend Revoked ... But In London It's Carry On Regardless
Monday, November 20, 2017
'Technical fault' defence
Taxi and Private Hire Compliance Officers check for working card terminals when carrying out their on-street spot checks. 40,000 compliance checks carried out on London Taxis since 31 October 2016. Officers found a problem with the card machine on just 300 occasions.
TfL again have shown their total bias against London's Taxi Trade. A statement contained in an FOI response about CC acceptance. After receiving just 192 complaints of which only one third were upheld (that's just 64), says:
“Each case is individually assessed and may result in the driver receiving a warning or suspension of their licence and/or the vehicle being issued with an 'unfit notice'; this means that the vehicle cannot be used as a licensed taxi until it is shown to have an approved functioning."
Figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request suggest that the overwhelming number of drivers are in fact complying with the new rules.
But TfLTPH's General Manager Helen Chapman, had happily allowed 13,000 Uber drivers to carry on working, knowing (since January 2017) they did not have the proper approved enhanced criminal record checks.
How many Taxi drivers have been thrown out of work for months while waiting for DBS checks when renewing their licenses?
Told by Helen Chapman "I couldn't live with myself should a cabby commit a crime while working without a complete DBS".
Her department gave the 13,000 drivers 28 days to reapply with authorised DBS certificates. It has been revealed that less than 20% of the 13,000 have actually reapplied and still Helen Chapman's department have taken no action to suspend the Uber drivers without genuine criminal record checks in place. She seems more concerned that Taxi drivers may be committing the heinous crime of working with a credit card reader which isn't functioning properly.
And to that affect, TfLTPH are employing over 300 compliance officers to make sure Taxi drivers have working, authorised units supplied by (in the late deputy Mayor Dedring's own words) TfL Golden partners.
Since the 31st of October 2016, after 40,000 comp,Janice checks carried out on street, less than one percent have been found not to be working. Is this not a complete waste of our licence fee???
While 40,000 compliance checks have been made on Taxis found standing in the street, hundreds of serious sexual assaults, including rapes, have taken place in private hire vehicles, many working without the correct DBS clearance. This is scandalous and must not be allowed to continue.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Those of you who are very observant, will have noticed that TfL took the liberty to photoshop out the CabApp livery on Scott Wolsey's Taxi in the new issue of TFL's online publication "OnRoute", while allowing Geely and Dial a Cab liveries to be shown on other pages.
What have TfL got against a Taxi App, run by Taxi drivers exclusively for Taxi drivers???
This is what Scott's Taxi normally looks like.
Driven By Knowledge, Black Cab's Only
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
Sexual offence figures from the Met police, compiled by Transport for London, show that the number of taxi and private hire journey-related sexual offences hit 164 in the capital last year. It was also pointed out that there were none reported in Taxi journeys.
The figures on the TfL website are alleged to have been dumbed down (again) as they are lower than the figures gained by FOI request and published earlier this year.
What TFL's figures actually show, is that over half of all offences were committed by Uber drivers.
Back in August, emails in the Sunday Times showed alleged offences include causing death by dangerous driving, careless driving, drink-driving, driving without insurance and speeding.
In the emails, which were written on July 7, Met Inspector Neil Billany raised 'concerns with Uber as an operator.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
A new lawsuit is (again) calling into question Uber's background check policies and how it monitors its drivers.
On Tuesday this week, two anonymous women filed a complaint in California against Uber claiming the ridesharing company had falsely presented its service as safe to passengers. Both women say they were raped by Uber drivers.
They state that they ordered the service after a couple of drinks, believing it would be safe.
"Uber's advertising campaigns make the assertion that it provides the best option for a safe ride home after a night of drinking," the suit alleges. "But what happened to These two victims, is happening to women across the U.S. Shockingly, it is happening with greater frequency."
The new suit is seeking class action status to include individuals who have alleged or reported "rape, sexual assault or gender-motivated violence or harassment" by Uber drivers in the past four year. (This is action that needs to happen in London, after it was discovered 13,000 of Uber's drivers had submitted fake criminal record checks.)
The lawsuit claims that "thousands of female passengers have endured unlawful conduct by their Uber drivers" over the past seven years.
In a statement, Uber said it "received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it. These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously." A statement we see time and time again after major complaints.
Attorney Jeanne Christensen from employment law firm Wigdor LLP, who brought the case, is calling on Uber to release data (if they have any) that proves to customers that it is, in fact, statistically safe to ride in an Uber.
Ms Christensen said: "They should be forced to report, on some kind of periodic level, how many reports of assault, rape they've had. And based on the reports, were there investigations that actually resulted in the termination of a driver?" Christensen said in a call with CNN Tech.
Her firm has been following the issue of alleged rape and assault by Uber drivers since 2014, when it filed the New Delhi driver rape case. "I'm not asking for anything crazy. It's not crazy. If they don't have an issue, then they should be waving that data around."
The suit asks for an injunction that would direct the company to make changes to its screening process, as well as implement new monitoring of drivers to protect riders from rape, assault, and gender-based harassment.
Uber has in the past shunned the idea of fingerprint-based background tests in most markets, saying the checks can be costly and slow, and impact the company's ability to constantly bring on new drivers. But public safety should be paramount.
Questions about how the company screens its drivers were raised again earlier this month after the suspect in a terror attack in Manhattan was revealed to be a driver for both Uber and Lyft.
Both Uber and Lyft said they were in contact with law enforcement authorities over the New York attack.
In general, Uber says it searches records for the past seven years. But according to the suit, for drivers who moved to the U.S. less than seven years ago, the company doesn't seek to obtain records in their previous country of residence.
The 58-page complaint filed Tuesday details 17 safety measures that the company could implement to make riders safer. Those include requiring drivers to install GPS tracking systems in their cars rather than relying on the app which can be turned off, as well as performing criminal background checks every six months.
Source : CNNMoney
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
How many times have we heard Uber passengers say they feel safe because their journeys can be tracked by the GPS within the app!
Here we have it, from an independent third party who has stated the obvious....THE APP CAN BE SWITCHED OFF.
Uber has stated time and time again -backed up by statements from TfL directors and managers- that Uber drivers go through the same enhanced criminal record checks as Taxi drivers!
We now know this isn't the case.
In London, where we've seen 13,000 uber drivers allowed to carry on picking up passengers after in was discovered as far back as January that they had submitted fake criminal record check certificates. After this bought to the media's attention by a team at the London Cab Drivers Club, and Helen Chapman's assurance that it would be sorted out within 28 days, three months later we find that only 2,700 drivers have been contacted by TfL to submit new DBS certificates.....
This is a scandalous dereliction of responsibility by Chapman.
We must also remember that this has happened in Mike Brown's watch !
Why hasn't the TfL commission insisted that Uber drivers be suspended for presenting fake documents?
Especially after an FOI request revealed that UberRape had increased this year by 50%.
Any victim of rape or sexual assault from drivers who are on the list of those presenting fake DBS, would well be within their rights and should be encouraged to sue not only TfL... but also Chapman and Brown.
If protocols had been adhered to as legislation demands, these attacks may have been prevented.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
After being caught napping, Transport authorities in London (TfL) have issued instructions today to remove “Free Balochistan” advertisements from more than 100 buses on the ground that they did not comply with guidelines, but Baloch activists contended they were being taken off under pressure from Pakistan.
Bit like our Government putting pressure on TfL to go easy on Uber, even though we had the admission in two court cases that they operate illegally.
The advertisements – first seen on London taxis and billboards – highlighted alleged human rights abuses in Pakistan’s restive southwestern province and evoked a sharp reaction from Islamabad. The buses with the advertisements have been criss-crossing the capital for more than a week.
A spokesman for Transport for London (TfL), which runs the capital’s transport network, told Hindustan Times: “This advert does not comply with our advertising guidelines".
Funny, Uber drivers accept the job offers direct from the customer in contravention of the Private Hire Act 1998, but TfL said nothing about this for the last 5 years.
The spokesman went on to say: “It was accepted in error by our advertising partner and was not referred to us for our consideration. We have instructed that all such adverts must be removed immediately.”
It's such a pity TfL didn't act this quick with Uber, they could have saved hundreds of rape victims having their lives shattered.
The instructions to remove the advertisements did not surprise Baloch activists.
Funny how quickly TfL acted when an Uber driver was convicted for rape, and a trade publication which carried the headline, was found displayed in many London Taxis. COs were overstepping their remit and were video'd illegally removing the papers from the Taxis!
Bhawal Mengal of World Baloch Organisation (WBO) said TfL is cooperating with Pakistan authorities, and added that “the message has already gone across”.
According to him, the buses carried the large advertisements for more than a week, and it will be another week before they can be taken down from each of the buses. Except for two billboards on TfL property, he said others had not been taken down as of Wednesday.
Similar advertisements on London’s iconic taxis were taken down recently following complaints through diplomatic channels in Islamabad and London. WBO said it had challenged the earlier TfL move to remove the advertisements on taxis.
The signs on buses have these slogans in large letters: “Free Balochistan”, “Save the Baloch People” and “Stop Enforced Disappearances”. Pakistan called the campaign “sinister” and “malicious”, but WBO said it would peacefully speak out against alleged rights violations in Balochistan.