Sadiq Khan’s Monstrous Decision On Uber

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The problem with Sadiq Khan’s – and sure, it’s TfL but let’s not be stupid about the Mayor’s influence or not – refusal to renew Uber’s licence in London isn’t the triviality of the objection, it’s that it’s not even Khan that should be making the decision.

The objection itself is trivial of course. It’s that some 45 drivers faked their ID to get onto the system and provide rides. That’s out of 45,000 rivers in Uber’s system.

Right, so, anyone aware of other parts of the working world that manage accuracy down to 0.1%? The British state certainly doesn’t achieve that when handing out free money as the benefits system shows. Do we think that TfL itself manages it in the identification of its employees? Seriously, anyone want to take the bet that there’s not 0.1% of TfL workers without the relevant working papers?

So, yes, obviously, this is all about Khan not wanting Uber to be in London. Because he hates freedom or something. Or possibly because the black cabbies are a political power block and he’s a politician. And that’s really not the way these things should work. This is:

As to what should happen, this is rather obvious. Millions of people, by their own preference, choose to travel through Uber rather than black cabs, tube trains, or buses. The entire point of our having an economy at all is that we consumers gain more of whatever it is that we want. Which means that the only one who should kill off a ride hailing service is us, by no longer using it. Regulators just need to get out of the way and let the people decide.

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jgh
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jgh

“it’s that it’s not even Khan that should be making the decision.” And Khan does not make that decision, and if he did would be doing maladministration. It’s the Taxi Licensing board of Transport for London that makes the decision. Uber’s drivers are just another private hire taxi service. Uber is just another taxi radio control centre. As long as the law is as it is, they are regulated just as any other taxi radio control centre and their drivers are regulated just as any other private hire driver. If you want Private Hire to not be regulated, campaign to… Read more »

jgh
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jgh

In the specific case:
“It’s that some 45 drivers faked their ID to get onto the system and provide rides.”

So, they lied to Transport for London. So Transport for London should be revoking those drivers’ Private Hire Licenses and investigating why Transport for London fell down on the job. If somebody rolls up to Uber and says “here’s my Private Hire license, all stamped and everything” you can’t expect them to assume it’s fake. That very license is telling Uber that the driver has been vetted and passed.

jgh
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jgh

“Or possibly because the black cabbies are a political power block”

London Hackneys hate Private Hire. Do you remember the screams of protest in the late 1990s when Private Hire was legalised? They kept Private Hire out of London for decades due to their screaming, out in civilisation beyond the M25 we’ve had Private Hire since the 1970s.

djc
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djc

They didn’t keep Private Hire out of London. There has always been private hire in London and for something like 60 years ‘minicabs’, that is private hire with radio controlled cars that can be pretty much booked on a whim, but could not be hailed out on the street (ply for hire). What London did not have until quite recently was any licensing system for private hire, got a car, got hire-and-reward insurance, sign-up with any minicab firm and away you went..

jgh
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jgh

That’s not Private Hire, that was minicabs, which were unregulated and borderline illegal. Private Hire was only legislated for in London in 1999, oulawing minicabs. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/34

Private Hire existed outside London since the 1970s.

I used to be a (non-London) Taxi Licensing board member.

djc
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djc

We appear to disputing the meaning of Private Hire, to be clearer, the difference between ‘Private Hire’ — a legislative creation, and ‘private hire’ — the result of a free and unfettered market.
Your experience outside of London leads you to take Private Hire as the natural order of things, my experience of minicabs is that many people were quite happy with the arrangement. Personally I preferred not to risk whatever mobile ashtray might turn up but for my friends and acquaintances it was minicab over black cab every time.