Regulation and Technology
The disruption of regulated taxi markets around the world by ride hailing apps has been well documented. The taxi trades in London, New York City, Paris and other major cities, must abide by regulations and costs set out for them, while ride sharing apps subsidise their costs trying to kill off the competition. They also have some very heavy and influential backers.
The rise of the on line industry has seen “amateurs” being given a way to compete with taxi professionals. In London, cab drivers are not born they are made, through years of studying “The Knowledge” the toughest taxi test in the world. Now, anyone can jump in a Prius turn their app on and Ply for Hire. It is the reason Knowledge numbers have dropped and this will not change until our lawful right to Ply for Hire is upheld, but we must refuse any change or dilution to the Knowledge just for a quick fix. This will just bring us closer to a one tier system.
In New York City the problem is particularly acute. Medallion owners pay the the city hundreds of thousands of dollars for their right to “ply for hire”. They have seen their market decimated by technology, which came in without regulation. Driver’s have seen their incomes drop so sharply, for some it has been to much too bare. Resulting in distressing headlines recently.
It is the law that only Hackney Carriage have the right to “Ply 4 Hire”. So why isn’t our regulator enforcing this, even now certain apps are continuing to break the law. Why is it being allowed to happen.
It looks like only a judge will tell us the answer