Reply to post: Re: There's a little more at stake here

Only a CNUT would hold back the waves of the sharing economy


Re: There's a little more at stake here

This article presents a mildly reasonable argument but is wrong because it misses a key point. Yes Tfl are responsible for reviewing the rules but they have perfectly sensible rules already. You can't hail a Minicab in the street, you have to book it through a mini-cab firm first. You still can't hail an Uber taxi in the street. Now technology simply means the existing booking process is super efficient.

The sensible reason for not being able to hail a - less regulated than black cab - mini-cab in the street is safety. By having to book via a taxi firm so there is a record and (more likely) a responsible controller running a business with many mini-cabs keeping a record of who is sent where. That, as long as users are aware and expect to follow the rules (which most are) reduces the opportunity for stalkers rapists and muggers being able to pick victims up in the street and drive them off to an evil lair.

Uber hasn't changed the mini-cab model, you still can't directly hail a mini-cab in the street, it's just made it more efficient, but Tfl are proposing changing the rules by artificially introducing minimum wait times from booking to fulfilment. EBay style in service ratings systems have already been shown to be an effective way to manage and help filter out charlatans. So while there will be teething problems, the system, given the journey is also logged and tracked is already potentially even safer than the average local Minicab firm.

Now black cab drivers are moaning, and it seems Tfl are proposing making an efficient system less efficient just to help them out. That isn't Tfl doing regulation as usual as Alatair argues, it's protectionism plain and simple. It makes an efficient system less efficient for the economic gain of a vested interest and at the expense of the consumer who likes the fact you can now get black cab efficiency at mini-cab prices. So sorry Alastair, your argument has some good points, but in the final analysis is just plain wrong. Uber aren't paranoid. It is all about them.

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