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.

Everyone loves a mobile phone we all do. They have become part of our lives but technology can go too far in its cause to conquer. Numerous consumers have paid personally around the world through breaches of data and regulation resulting in assaults and deaths on our roads. Regulations are put there for a reason. We hear, “oh well. it’s competition”. Yes, but it is not fair competition to taxi drivers worldwide, who cannot compete on cost and to consumers who do not read the privacy policy on apps, only to find out about surge pricing in a very painful way to their pocket.

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

Sarah

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