Forum Sponsors

www.mindovermatterboxing.co.uk
xxxx
All Round Renovation

www.takeflightacademy.co.uk

Advertise here

The East Dulwich Forum
Coffee tastes best at... Blue Mountain? Caffe Nero? The East Dulwich Cafe?
Goto Page: Previous12
Current Page: 2 of 2
messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Penguin68 July 12, 09:47AM

Driver started doing a very odd route

That can be very common with Ubers - they use Waze quite a lot, which tracks routes with the least congestion - which are often longer (in miles) and more circuitous but generally quicker in lapsed time to get to your destination. Of course, as most Uber drivers don't know where they are going (relying on Sat Nav) they are not making sneaky diversions to bump up the fare. The Knowledge has its good, and bad, points!

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by rahrahrah July 12, 09:51AM

I am not a fan of black cabs generally. Have had to put up with racist 'banter' from cabbies, been refused going south of the river and have often witnessed their deliberate attempts to intimidate cyclists. I know a lot of cabbies are decent, hard working and professional, but as a highly regulated and not inexpensive service, you shouldn't have these sorts of behaviours at all. They are a powerful lobby and so have been pandered to by successive majors (being excluded from the same ULEZ standards as everyone else for example).

The truth is that impressive as it may be to memorise every street in London, this is no longer a relevant skill. And what is left (driving a car) is something that many people can do. It shouldn't be such a closed shop / monopoly imo.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by TheCat July 12, 10:57AM

rahrahrah Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> The truth is that impressive as it may be to
> memorise every street in London, this is no longer
> a relevant skill.

I totally get what you're saying. But for me I still generally prefer a driver who can improvise when needed (and use the bus lanes). I know Waze has been mentioned above - but I still find that most Uber drivers will just sit in traffic for ever and ever amen if thats the way the sat nav is telling them. So I still think there is a market for people with the knowledge - especially when compared to the lottery of an uber driver, who may have been driving in london for 2 days and genuinely have no idea - I prefer the consistency that ordering a black cab brings (in general, there are always exceptions). Althoug its fair to say that this market (i.e. people like me me) is generally shrinking.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was july 12, 10:57am by TheCat.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Penguin68 July 12, 11:17AM

But for me I still generally prefer a driver who can improvise when needed (and use the bus lanes).

That's certainly true for Central London, where any unexpected road blockage can entirely stump Sat Nav dependent Uber drivers but Black Cabbies do know the alternative routes to get round blocks. If you want to get to a main line station in Central London, Black Cabs are the go-to choice (even where they are more expensive). But around us in Dulwich even if the Black Cabbie has done the local knowledge they're still not that much more savvy than Ubers with the right Sat Nav. And if you're going from, e.g. Kings Cross to Dulwich then the £15 - £20 (often) difference in fares (if the Black Cab will even go Sarf) is a deal breaker in my view.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Listen up July 12, 12:11PM

In spite of Uberís numerous shortcomings, as a south Londoner I will not shed a tear on the black cabbies demise. Waiting for up to half hour in all weathers, to be told Iím not going that way, back-breakingly hard suspension, and paying through the nose for the privilege - not at all where we should be in 2019

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Rumbero July 12, 12:16PM

Strikes me that the Knowledge isn't just a memory test of London streets. The two or three years it takes to complete is a character test as much as anything else and demonstrates commitment to a career, whereas minicab-driving (driver-partnering, I believe, in slightly Orwellian ‹berspeak) is of a more transient nature and probably appeals to those whose employment opportunities are limited. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but if the barriers between licensed taxis and private hire continue to be eroded (Uber have effectively been allowed to 'ply for hire', albeit electronically) then the race to the bottom will have been won.
If the Knowledge is sacrificed on the altar of de-regulation and cheapness is the only criteria (we'd better get used to that post-Brexit) then I, for one, think that'll be a sad day.
Be careful what you wish for.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by fishbiscuits July 12, 12:24PM

Rumbero Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The two or three years it takes to complete is a character test as much as
> anything else and demonstrates commitment to a career

I'm not quite sure why having drivers committed to a career as a cab driver is necessarily a good thing.

And bear in mind, it's only a matter of time before that particular job simply doesn't exist any more.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Rumbero July 12, 12:42PM

Presumably you're less likely to do anything to jeopardise your livelihood if you've made that sort of investment. And I suppose it's only a matter of time before any job doesn't exist anymore.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by JohnL July 12, 01:00PM

fishbiscuits Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Rumbero Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The two or three years it takes to complete is a
> character test as much as
> > anything else and demonstrates commitment to a
> career
>
> I'm not quite sure why having drivers committed to
> a career as a cab driver is necessarily a good
> thing.
>
> And bear in mind, it's only a matter of time
> before that particular job simply doesn't exist
> any more.

Ubers entire business plan involves driverless cars.

[qz.com]

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Rumbero July 12, 01:23PM

JohnL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Ubers entire business plan involves driverless
> cars.


I wonder if Uber's business plan involves actually making a profit?

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by snowy July 12, 03:02PM

It does, but it's based on killing the existing market of private hire and black cabs and then increasing their fares once that's done and they have a monopoly.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Rumbero July 12, 03:27PM

snowy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It does, but it's based on killing the existing
> market of private hire and black cabs and then
> increasing their fares once that's done and they
> have a monopoly.

Indeed. Monopolies, of course, being something that rahrahrah ("not a fan of black cabs generally") argued against earlier.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by rahrahrah July 16, 09:10AM

The black cabs have had a monopoly for ages. Uber should not be allowed to replace it with another one, but thatís not a defence of black cabs.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Rumbero July 16, 10:05AM

rahrahrah Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The black cabs have had a monopoly for ages. Uber
> should not be allowed to replace it with another
> one, but thatís not a defence of black cabs.


A 'monopoly' on what exactly? The exclusive right to 'ply for hire' (ie respond to an immediate hail from a member of the public')? There is no bar to this 'monopoly' (other than certain types of criminal conviction). Anyone with the desire and dedication to complete The Knowledge of London exam is free to do so (even Uber drivers!)

What would you have instead? Any old Tom, Dick or Harry roaming the streets offering rides for a bit of beer money?

You need to think it through and come up with a better alternative - one that both protects the public (including the disabled) and offers a decent living to those providing the service (without having to compromise safety by working all the hours God sends). I can't immediately think of a better way of achieving this but am willing to be persuaded.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by rahrahrah July 16, 01:01PM

I think the use of cab hailing apps such as Uber are the better alternative - I thought I had been clear. As impressive as learning every street off by heart is, it's an obsolete skill. Some black cab drivers have done nothing to ingratiate themselves in the heart of the general public. Only this morning I saw a cabbie deliberately cut across the path of a cyclist.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by micromacromonkey July 16, 02:38PM

Despite my casually discriminatory attitude towards cabbies, I must say that the majority I actually talk to seem to be OK. I have a couple of times in the last year had to flag one down as I had a puncture and was late for a meeting, and had to shove the bike in the back. Always seemed pretty reasonable. I wonder how many cabbies actually agree with the LTDA's policy on bike lanes and whatever else they like to pontificate on? A lot of people don't necessarily think that their union has their best interests at heart (e.g. Len McCluskey and associated arseholes).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was july 16, 02:38pm by micromacromonkey.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Rumbero July 16, 05:16PM

rahrahrah Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think the use of cab hailing apps such as Uber
> are the better alternative - I thought I had been
> clear.

I'm still not entirely clear, I'm afraid. Are you saying you'd be happy for someone who's simply coughed up £300 to TfL and been 'licensed' in a matter of weeks to respond to any immediate hail (app, street or rank) in a one-tier system?

Regarding micromacromonkeys comment; there doesn't seem to be one organisation that speaks for the whole cab trade. The LTDA aren't militant enough for some of them (eg the London Cab Drivers Club) although I believe the United Trade Action Group (UTAG) has recently formed (I know, we're straying into People's Front of Judea and Judean People's Front territory here).

The bike lanes seem to serve a purpose for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening but others might say that the unintended consequence (or intended, maybe) of near total gridlock for the rest of the day is too high a price.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by rahrahrah July 17, 10:29AM

Apps such as Uber are in effect 'hailing' service. The idea of having thousands of diesel cars driving around the streets waiting to be waved down is again, an anachronism. A smart phone is a much more efficient way of hailing a cab, which will usually arrive in a few minutes.

A business model based on cab drivers memorising every possible route and driving around waiting to be flagged down, is just crazy in this age of smart phones.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Penguin68 July 17, 11:33AM

There is now an electronic hailing ap for black cabs as well as Ubers. But of course you pay black cab prices. Most black cabs (all?) now have card payment options in-cab - that at least makes them more user friendly than when cash was the only option. And less of a muggers target. It is still very convenient to be able to get a cab either on-street or from a rank without having to book, at times; black cabs (and their drivers, but there is always John Worboys to remember) are generally better regulated than mini-cabs (which is what Ubers are). And 'the Knowledge' is of real value when there are street disruptions which sat nav aps can't pick-up on - even Waze isn't that sensitive to sudden road closures. As a customer there is room for both, but economically I'm not so sure.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Rumbero July 17, 12:03PM

rahrahrah Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Apps such as Uber are in effect 'hailing' service.
> The idea of having thousands of diesel cars
> driving around the streets waiting to be waved
> down is again, an anachronism. A smart phone is a
> much more efficient way of hailing a cab, which
> will usually arrive in a few minutes.
>
> A business model based on cab drivers memorising
> every possible route and driving around waiting to
> be flagged down, is just crazy in this age of
> smart phones.

No one is disputing the efficiency of 'hailing' a minicab via a smartphone, just the legality (to repeat, black cabs can be hailed in this way too, of course, if anyone so desires). There's a clear case for the reform of taxi and private hire legislation to properly define 'plying for hire' and the nature of a 'meter', for example, in the digital age (don't hold your breath).

Again, though, you haven't addressed the question of the suitability of individuals wishing to provide this sort of 'on-demand' service. I'm still waiting for a better alternative to The Knowledge.

As for 'thousands of diesel cars driving round the streets', most black cabs tend to operate (legally) from ranks. Some might operate exclusively from the streets, I suppose, but I would have thought the operating costs (fuel consumption, wear and tear etc) would naturally mitigate against this.

And does anyone not think that ride-hailing minicabs don't drive around aimlessly waiting for their 'pings' or homing-in on the 'surge' areas ('dynamic pricing' in Uberspeak) looking for their quadruple fares?

According to the TfL website there are currently in excess of 90,000 Private Hire vehicle licences and about 19,000 taxi vehicle licences, by the way.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by rahrahrah July 17, 05:12PM

... most electric / hybrid though

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by rahrahrah July 17, 05:15PM

In terms of the suitability of the drivers - they're still licenced and Black cab drivers aren't always paragons of virtue. I am sure many can tell their own stories / experiences of black cabbies.

messageRe: Black cabs
Posted by Rumbero July 17, 07:30PM

rahrahrah Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am sure many
> can tell their own stories / experiences of black
> cabbies.


Well let's hear them then! Much more entertaining (if not particularly helpful).

And as for The Knowledge, perhaps it might help to think of it not so much in terms of 'knowing all the streets' (a bit of an urban myth really) but more as an extended job interview undertaken by a variety of potential employers (in this case KoL examiners).

I doubt even the mighty Fred Housego (is he still going?) would, even in his prime, know off the top of his head, I don't know, Crebor Street (since we're on the East Dulwich Forum) for instance.

Yes, minicab drivers are now 'licensed' (in the loosest possible way) but I would question how much value to place on said licence.

Goto Page: Previous12
Current Page: 2 of 2

Back to top of page
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
Donate                   Terms of use                  Help & FAQs                   Advertise               RSS rss feed               Copyright 2006 - 2018 East Dulwich Forum