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Supposed Free State to force Londonís black taxis to take card payments

The Unhived Mind

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  • Jul 12, 2014
  • theunhivedmind

    London’s black cabs could be forced to take card payments within two years

    Taxis during a recent protest in London over smartphone app Uber

    Matthew Beard, Transport Editor

    Published: 10 July 2014

    Thousands of black cab drivers could be forced to take payment by card within two years.

    Around half of the capital cabs currently do not have the facility for debit or credit payment and many drivers are opposed to making such payments mandatory due to the cost of installing card readers.

    But Transport for London wants to launch a consultation on making acceptance of cards mandatory from 2016.

    If compulsory card payments for cabs are agreed, it will be a further step towards cashless transport after buses went cash free this week According to TfL, 88 per cent of black cab users want card payment as an option.

    It is claimed is more convenient and safer as drivers and passengers using cash will not be prey to robbers.

    New York made the fitting of card machines for cabbies compulsory in 2008 and has seen card payment increase from 20 percent to 55 per cent as a result.

    Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “We are always keen to utilise technology to improve the experience of our passengers. Currently around half of the 23,000 taxis in the capital can already accept card payments. We are exploring a proposal to make this a mandatory requirement across the entire taxi fleet from 2016.

    “The proposal would also see card transaction fees considered when we calculate overall taxis fares – meaning that passengers would pay the same fare regardless of how they chose to pay. The proposal will be discussed at the TfL Board in September and would be subject to a public consultation.”

    For private hire taxis such as Addison Lee, some have adopted smartphone apps or use accounts. Some private hire offices may have card acceptance but there are no official requirements regarding card acceptance in their vehicles.

    The proposal comes amid a row between taxi drivers and TfL over their decision to give a license to taxi app Uber. TfL insist that Uber does not operate on a taxi meter , which only can drivers are entitled to do, but this is being challenged in the courts by taxi unions. Drivers blockaded central London in protest at Uber on 11 June

    Yesterday the London Assembly’s transport committee heard from one international expert that London was lagging behind in the adoption of new technology.

    Matthew Daus, President of International Association of Transportation Regulators and former Commissioner, New York Taxi and Limousine Commission said: “London’s taxis are the gold standard, but London is on the verge of squandering that gold due to its poor record in adopting new technology.”

    According to TfL, only three per cent of journeys are booked through a smartphone app such as Uber or Hailo.

    The committee heard that London is seventh most expensive out of 72 world cities, with a three mile fare costing £13.53 compared to £5.52 in Paris and £4.99 in New York.

    theunhivedmind says:

    July 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    This is the initial phase to eventually forcing taxis to take the Oyster card and then finally becoming cashless like the London buses under big-brother TfL. Eventually even fuel will be under a form of card system logged to your personal details. This is a major attack on cash so the banks can increase their non-existent fractional banking ratios against bonafide deposits.

    -= The Unhived Mind