In London, cab drivers undergo a grueling testing and memorization regime known ominously as "The Knowledge." Obtaining a license to drive one of the British capital's distinctive black cabs is so difficult that students often use motor scooters to get around and learn some 320 routes on 25,000 roads, a process that takes two to four years. They then need to take a completely random oral test, just to make sure they know their way about the city.
Mobile taxi service Uber has exploded in popularity recently, with major investments from Google and even partnering with the latest Transformers movie, but the meteoric rise has been tempered with controversy. In Europe and Asia, the app has sparked protests and has been legislated against to make it harder to use. The company's business practices are now falling under the microscope again, but this time it isn't coming from the old guard rallying against the upstart; instead competing ride on-
Those not-a-taxi ridesharing services are facing all sorts of difficulties, from union challenges to unfriendly local laws. Of course, they're also enjoyed by thousands of people around the world and have support from other union groups, so you're forgiven if you can't keep straight who's in favor of what on the issue. One thing is certain, though, France might soon be a completely anti-ridesharing country.
We've all experienced bad taxis; whether they were smelly or you ended up getting lost. But a group in Washington DC got the worst ride ever on July 8 when the Uber driver they contracted took them on a roughly 10-minute, high-speed chase to evade police.
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Uber is really taking it to cabbies in New York City. The car-hailing smartphone app has temporarily cut rates to its lowest-cost UberX service by 20 percent, now making it much more competitive - even cheaper in many cases - to request a ride from the app than to hail a NYC taxi. Also, tip is included in Uber's rate, while yellow cab fares do not include tip. However, Uber's rates vary depending on certain variables such as traffic and demand. Uber has been the target of protests by cabbies in
Some 30,000 taxi drivers across Europe got in their cabs on Wednesday and headed out on the streets, but not to pick up fares: they took to the street in protest. What were they protesting, you ask? Uber.
Hailo offices in the UK were vandalized with 'scabs' graffiti
If you were curious about how taxi drivers around the US feel about the rise of the private ridesharing mob, look no further than The New York Times. The newspaper of record is reporting that American taxi drivers are starting to talk seriously about forming a national taxi driver's union.
As the models continue to grow older, the Ford Crown Victoria is slowly but surely disappearing from US cities as the prevailing taxicab. The same thing is happening in Morocco with its huge fleet of Mercedes-Benz W123-chassis taxis thanks to a little help from the government. The authorities cite safety and environmental reasons for the decades-old sedans to be removed from the road in a cash-for-clunkers-style program slated to start by the end of the year.
Audi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) and General Electric are getting together to study something that won't likely be thrilling for New York City cab drivers. But there are bigger fish to fry and keeping cabbies happy.
Amsterdam's Taxi Electric liked its two-plus years with an all-Nissan Leaf electric vehicle fleet so much that it just got bigger, or at least with its vehicle choice. The company, which says it's the first private-taxi outfit to boast an all-electric fleet, is going to start adding Nissan e-NV200 electric compact vans to its stable of vehicles.
Splat! That's the sound that the agreement that London taxi company Green Tomato Cars had with Chinese electric-vehicle maker BYD made as it hit the proverbial pavement recently. The deal has fallen through, but no reason was given, according to the UK's Telegraph.
Nissan may be loaning out its small van to General Motors for its Chicago Auto Show debut, but that doesn't mean that Chevrolet is the only one with new NV200-based wares to share. On the heels of launching its Taxi Of Tomorrow for New York City, the Japanese automaker is giving America's Second City a livery of its own.
Uber just can't seem to stay out of the news lately. Between troubles with cab drivers in France and a tragic crash in San Francisco, the ride-sharing app could use some good news for a change. Nope, not going to happen, though.
An Uber car transporting execs for app company Eventbrite was attacked during a trip in Paris, indicating that the row between cab drivers and ride-sharing services could be heading to a rather dark place.
In most cities, just about any vehicle can serve as a taxi – so long as it meets the owner/operator's requirements for reliability, comfort and utility. But certain cities have their own unique taxis, and Nissan has been working hard to corner those markets. It has already designed specific taxis for such locations as New York, Barcelona and Tokyo, but its latest effort will bring a new Hackney Carriage to the streets of London.
Uber and authorities in France are heading for a bit of a fight following new laws in the country requiring that car services need to wait a minimum of 15 minutes after receiving a pickup request or reservation before they can actually pick up fares. The point of contention here, though, is that licensed cabs aren't subject to the same set of rules, which is striking some as an arbitrary ruling that favors traditional cab operations over car-sharing services.
The nation of Bhutan wants its capital city Thimphu to become an electric vehicle hotspot. "We are confident that electric vehicles can take off here," said Tshering Tobgay, prime minister of the Himalayan kingdom bordered by China and India. The first challenge is getting the EVs shipped there, but the first ones could soon be on the way.
We'd like to think details involving the proposed plug-in London taxi that is to be developed by Ecotive and Frazer-Nash were lost in translation but, well, we're talking about London, so there's no excuse. Instead, we're just going to have to take London Mayor Boris Johnson's word for it, and he seems to think such cabs are the wave of London's taxi-cab future.