Many of you drivers must be thinking that the world has got it in for you and what does the Uber drivers’ future hold?
First the congestion charge then Uber lose their operating licence and now the T Charge.
I take a look at where it’s all going and risk a few predictions.
Uber is Allowed to Continue
Having had it’s operating licence removed by tfl Uber must have uttered a huge sigh of releif when they were told that they would be allowed to continue in London until the hearing reaches it’s conclusion.
This time round it’s the failure to report serious crime that has brought about this latest punishment.
This could well take months or even years to come to a conclusion.
So for now you can carry on as usual.
But what of the future.
The New Brush Sweeps Clean
Dara Khosrowshahi is the Uber chief executive who has been meeting with tfl ( transport for London) and we are led to believe that his talks have been “productive”.
Dara represents a softer and more agreeable face of Uber and hopes to smooth the way for his company to continue in London and other areas.
Only time will tell.
If he looks over his shoulder he will see that Taxify, although suspending it’s London activity at the moment, is waiting in the wings.
As if this wasn’t bad enough Lyft a well established competitor worth $7.5bn ( £5.5bn) have been looking at London and talking to the tfl representatives.
All this means that you could soon have several companies to chose from and hence you should get better pay and conditions.
Along Comes the T Charge
This is the charge aimed at reducing pollution by diesel fumes.
It will cost drivers in London an extra £ 10.00 per day ( on top of the £ 11.50 congestion charge) to drive in London and several other UK cities.
Black cabs will be exempt and any private hire vehicles registered with Tfl. But for how long?
It will not go unnoticed that many Uber cabs are hybrid and most black cabs are smokey old diesels.
Looking at the future
Tfl have got themselves into a bit of a hole.
They can get assurances from all three contenders about reporting crime and other such matters but I suspect this does not lie at the heart of the matter.
Black cab divers have to take ” the knowledge” a test that is incredibly difficult to pass.
This has become the entry qualification for taxi driving.
In other countries they have expensive licences known as medallions.
These serve to stop just anyone becoming a driver. It’s a form of regulation.
Tfl, however have chosen to use an outdated test and this is not going to work in the future.
Why would you ask anyone to spend years memorising every street in London and the best way to get from one place to another.
That’s what a Satnav does. Since Uber arrived a NYC medallion has dropped in value by 75% in just a few years.
It is almost certain that ride-hail companies such as Uber, Taxify or Lyft will prevail in one form or another.
What should you do?
Carry on as you are. Change to a Hybrid when you are due for a new vehicle.
Get rid of your diesel ASAP.
Watch for the other operators and then drive for the one that pays best, or even drive for more than one.
Don’t worry about driver-less cars they will be some time off yet, but they will come.