nicely understated Olympic ceremony
tap-dancing militant Islamic fundamentalists
Obamacare is a well run compassionate health care program
The Taxi News for Wednesday October 29, 2014
police unsure if ID left with stabbed taxi driver
belongs to attacker
The Plain Dealer - (Cleveland, Ohio)
on October 28, 2014 at 12:40 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland police are uncertain if a
driver's license left in the hands of a stabbed taxi driver
belongs to one of the driver's attackers.
The 60-year-old driver told police a man who stabbed him
early Sunday was cash-strapped and handed over his license
as collateral for a trip from Public Square in downtown to
the city's East Side.
A Fourth District officer on Tuesday said investigators are
still working to confirm whether the attacker is, as the
driver insisted, the 23-year-old man pictured in the license
According to a police report:
The 23-year-old suspect and another man hailed a taxi at the
Renaissance Hotel in downtown. The men said they didn't have
cash, but could pay the fare if the driver took them to a
home on the 400 block of Cleveland Road, the address of the
man pictured in the license.
The driver took the man's license for collateral. - more....
drivers cited within hours of Uber launch
Las Vegas Sun - (Las Vegas, Nevada)
By Conor Shine (contact) Conor Shine
Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 | 4:44 p.m.
Uber’s Las Vegas honeymoon has been short: Three of the
ridesharing company’s drivers were cited by taxicab
regulators within hours of its launch today.
Nevada Taxicab Authority spokeswoman Teri Williams said as
of 3:30 p.m., three Uber drivers in Las Vegas and one in
Reno have been cited for illegally offering rides for hire.
Uber, which allows users to order a ride from its
independent network of drivers through a smartphone app,
launched in Nevada today.
In a statement, Uber said it “vigorously defends the rights
of our partner drivers and firmly stands by them when they
are wrongly cited or impounded.” The company said it will
cover any financial or legal costs associated with the
Uber has run into regulatory problems in many of the hundred
plus cities it currently operates in around the country. The
company has persisted despite opposition from regulators and
taxi cab companies and has been largely successful in
lobbying for new laws legitimizing their service.
But in Nevada, the company’s business model is currently
considered illegal, Williams said, because the company has
not applied for the Certificates of Public Convenience and
Necessity required to transport passengers for hire.
Without obtaining a certificate, Uber is considered an
unlicensed operator and its drivers could face fines or have
their vehicles impounded if caught by taxicab authority
regulators, Williams said. - more....
fight with taxi regulators headed to court Wednesday
Las Vegas Review-Journal - (Las Vegas, Nevada)
By RICHARD N. VELOTTA
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted October 27, 2014 - 3:51pm
A hearing has been scheduled Wednesday morning before Clark
County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon to determine
whether the controversial ride-sharing company Uber can
continue to operate in Southern Nevada.
Regulatory enforcement officers with the Nevada
Transportation Authority and the Nevada Taxicab Authority —
some wearing ski masks to protect their identities because
of their work as undercover officers — have continued to
cite Uber drivers and impound their vehicles. San
Francisco-based Uber vows to stand by their contracted
drivers and say they will continue to offer legal support
and financial resources for drivers whose cars have been
A spokeswoman for the company said Uber has rented cars for
drivers who have had their vehicles impounded.
Uber launched operations in Nevada on Friday, but
immediately found itself in the crosshairs of Nevada
regulators who said they would treat Uber as it would any
other illegal operator.
Uber views itself as a technology platform and not a
But on Friday afternoon, Attorney General Catherine Cortez
Masto sought a temporary restraining order in Carson City on
behalf of the Transportation Authority to block Uber from
operating. Las Vegas attorney Don Campbell, who is
representing Uber, said he was not notified of the filing
and challenged whether the order was valid in Clark County.
Herndon refused to sign a similar order in Clark County
setting the stage for Wednesday’s hearing. - more....
wants to roll out universal app for hailing taxis
Chicago Tribune - (Chicago, Illinois)
The rapidly expanding rides-for-hire industry in Chicago is
undergoing more change Monday.
Customers will no longer be able to arrange a regular taxi
or a black-car pickup using Hailo, one of a number of
transportation smartphone apps that have debuted in the last
few years to a strong reception from consumers who
appreciate shorter wait times and the ability to prearrange
payment using a credit card.
Now, the city of Chicago is preparing to enter the contest.
It will implement one or more universal smartphone apps to
connect riders with the closest available taxi among all
cabs in the city rather than a customer going online to hail
a cab from a specific company. The apps are designed to
provide one-stop shopping for taxis and also "can help level
the playing field" between taxis and ride-sharing services,
city officials said.
Some experts in the taxicab industry are wary of the Emanuel
administration's motives behind the app, pointing to the
mayor's strong public support of Uber X and his initial
reluctance to regulate the burgeoning ride-share business.
"Government is essentially endorsing one app as the
centralized dispatch," said George Lutfallah, publisher of
Chicago Dispatcher, a trade publication for the taxicab
industry. "My concern is that it limits choice, and that
whoever wins the contract won't have as strong of an
incentive to serve the drivers and the customers." - more....
Cab not embracing hailing app Flywheel
San Francisco Examiner - (San Francisco, California)
By Jessica Kwong
San Francisco taxicabs traditionally have been a disjointed
industry, and that continues to be the case even as city
regulators push to get all cabs on board the vehicle touted
as their savior from Uber and competing app-based ride
Flywheel, the hailing app for taxis that has The City's
blessing, has successfully installed its smartphone devices
on every cab company's fleet except the largest -- Yellow
Cab Cooperative. The yellow color scheme has more than 600
cabs, which is more than one-third of all taxis in San
Francisco, according to Yellow Cab President and General
Manager Jim Gillespie.
Meanwhile, Flywheel claims 80 percent of The City's cab
drivers use the app, including 464 Yellow Cab drivers. That
percentage is that high because Yellow Cab drivers are
signing on to Flywheel individually, since the company
Yellow Cab has been resistant to form a relationship with
Flywheel because the app service installs its own smartphone
device instead of integrating into the taxi company's
dispatch. Gillespie also fears that his drivers would get
distracted by having two devices that could offer hails
simultaneously or while the driver already has a rider. - more....
Patient Transportation Made Easy
Blackburn News - (Chatham-Kent, Ontario)
By Kirk Dickinson on October 27, 2014
An investment made by the Erie St. Clair LHIN has made
transportation easier for medical patients living in
Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent, and Windsor-Essex.
Eight agencies from across the region have come together to
form CareLink, which will enable clients to call a single
phone number for timely and efficient local health
transportation services. The program will specifically
ensure seniors and other vulnerable populations are able to
access health services in their community. The $1-million
investment made by the LHIN has also allowed the LHIN-funded
agencies to purchase 18 new vehicles.
Volunteer driver Bob Tellier says CareLink will ensure
patients needing to travel feel safe and secure. - more....
cab drivers storm out of meeting before Uber vote
WUSA-TV Channel 9 - (Washington D.C.)
1:09 p.m. EDT October 28, 2014
WASHINGTON (WUSA9/AP) - Angry cab drivers stormed out of a
meeting Tuesday where the D.C. council is scheduled to vote
on ride-sharing services like Uber.
"This is illegal," said one cab driver, who left before the
vote. The D.C. Council is set to give final approval to
legislation that will allow app-based car services like Uber
and Lyft to continue operating in the District.
Earlier Tuesday, hundred of cab drivers were driving around
Freedom Plaza to draw attention to the D.C. Council's
Taxi drivers argue that the app-based services have an
unfair competitive advantage because they don't have to
follow the same rules and regulations as cabs, and therefore
can afford to charge cheaper fares. - Video
vs. Taxis: How an App Made Hailing a Cab Harder Than
Auto World News - (Internet)
Oct 27, 2014 03:30 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro
Catching a cab in New York City is harder than ever, and
Uber is probably the reason why.
More than 10 percent of the 50,000 men and women who drive
approximately 13,000 yellow cabs around NY have switched to
the app-based service since June. This means fewer cabs are
being hailed down in the streets, but it also means
medallion prices are plunging by an average $150,000, a
report by The New York Post said, citing "industry
The Taxi and Limousine Commission are being blamed for the
migration by fleet owners, who have accused the TLC and its
employees of supplying drivers contact information to Uber
"They're leaking it," said Tony Georgiton, of Queens
Medallion, which leases its cars to some 2,000 drivers,
according to the Post. "It has to be somebody within the
agency, within the TLC."
He believes that the data can't be coming from his company
since it "closely guards" its records.
The charges of leaked contact information were called
"baseless," by TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg. He added that
the agency couldn't confirm whether there are fewer taxi-cab
Georgiton's allegations come just a few days after it was
reported that the Department of Investigation opened a
conflict-of-interest probe into Ashwini Chhabra, who left
his $160,000-a-year job at the TLC for a position at Uber. -
may raise taxi fares and rein in Uber and Lyft
Detroit Free Press - (Detroit, Michigan)
JC Reindl, Detroit Free Press 10:40 a.m. EDT October 27,
The City of Detroit is looking to raise cab fares and
possibly block new Uber and Lyft ride services from charging
higher rates as part of the first overhaul of city's taxi
regulations in a generation.
The result could be pricier meter rates, but it would also
provide an incentive for cab drivers to follow the rules and
not charge exorbitant flat rates for short rides, an illegal
practice and common complaint among Detroit cab passengers.
Drivers face a misdemeanor ticket if caught charging over
the city's official rate of $1.60 per mile with a $2.50 base
"I had somebody one time quote me a price to go from MGM
Grand (Detroit) to Nemo's, which is not even a mile, and the
guy wanted $20," said Vaughn Derderian, 37, who works
downtown and lives in Madison Heights. "My buddy and I said
'That's ridiculous, we'd rather walk.' And so he pulled over
right at the corner of Michigan and Third and we got out and
Cab drivers say the current rates, last set in 2001, are too
low to make a decent living without charging illegal,
off-the-meter flat rates. "Every time we're hitting that
meter, we're cheating ourselves," said Detroit cab driver
William Harold Davis, 60.
Drivers are also angry over the city's current policy which
allows Uber and Lyft to do business in Detroit without
paying any registration fees or requiring their drivers to
buy the same pricey commercial-grade auto insurance that
traditional taxi drivers do.
Detroit also permits Uber and Lyft drivers to charge fare
rates based on fluctuating demand, which Uber calls 'surge
pricing.' But some consumers and city officials say this
practice amounts to unregulated price gouging.
Uber and Lyft disclose surge pricing rates, but the size of
the final bill can still startle passengers. - more....
vs. Taxi Drivers
Reason Magazine - (Internet)
Brian Doherty from the November 2014 issue
Korengold owns a coveted city-issued medallion; it's the
only way to legally drive a metered taxi around Baghdad by
the Bay. If you don't have your own, you need to work for
someone who does. This license to cab is currently available
at the jaw-dropping price of $250,000. For years, that
barrier to entry produced enough scarcity to make Korengold
and his grizzled brethren a solid middle-class living.
But over the past year or so, revenues have plunged a
Lombard Street-like 50 percent, Korengold and other local
drivers tell me. Press reports suggest the cabbies are
exaggerating, but only a bit. What happened?
New, unmedallioned drivers dominate the streets of San
Francisco, Korengold complains, "competing with us for the
same customers, providing the same service but allowed to
play under different rules-or no rules. They undercut us
because they have hundreds of millions in venture capital
In other words: It's all Danetta's fault.
Danetta (who wished only to use her first name, in order to
speak more freely without offending potential customers), is
a 32-year-old bookkeeper who for the last year and a half
has been driving passengers around the Bay Area and later
San Diego for both UberX and Sidecar, two entrants in the
hot new business model of e-hailing, or providing rides via
smartphone. (See page 23 for how these companies work.)
Danetta also drove a while last year for a third market
leader, Lyft, a self-consciously wacky brand whose drivers
frequently strap whimsical giant pink moustaches to the
front of their cars. "We had candy and we had water and
every ride we treated like our friends," she says.
It's pretty easy to meet the basic requirements for being an
e-hail driver: You must have a post-2004 model car for UberX
(post-2000 for Lyft) and be able to pass a background check
on both your driving and criminal records. And the pay is
good-Danetta takes home 80 percent of her Sidecar fares, and
when I interviewed her in March she was getting 95 percent
from UberX, though the latter goes through periods of being
extra generous to lure more drivers. And the work is
pleasant: After more than 4,000 rides, she remembers only
five even slightly negative experiences.
Medallioned taxi drivers in the Bay Area don't have it so
easy. As Korengold explains, "The cost of getting a driver's
permit in San Francisco is around $350, which includes a
fingerprinted background check, taxi school, taxi permit,
and DMV printout. To get a taxi medallion you must be next
in line on the waiting list and have put in the driving
requirement of 800 hours a year during at least four out of
the last five years." And that's before you hand over your
quarter-million dollars to the city.
Cabs in San Francisco these days are required to either be
hybrids or to use an alternative fuel, and they have to be
equipped with cameras. If you're renting a vehicle from a
fleet, you often pay up to $100 a shift in "gate fees," in
addition to having to tip dispatchers in order to get good
calls-a practice that is pervasive, despite being
technically illegal. - more....
But For Kids. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
The Huffington Post - (Internet)
The Huffington Post | By Hunter Stuart
Posted: 10/27/2014 2:08 pm EDT
Parents used to tell kids never to accept rides from
strangers. Now they pay for the privilege.
A new app called Shuddle, already dubbed "the Uber for
kids," is designed to provide rides to children who are too
young to drive themselves to sports practice and other
The idea is simple. Parents download an app and ping a car
and driver to come pick up their child. Rides can be booked
up to a week in advance. After booking the ride, you get an
email with the name and photo of the driver, along with
information about the car she's driving. You choose a
password that the driver must repeat when she arrives to
verify that she's a Shuddle employee (rather than some
Then, as your child is driven to his destination, you can
watch in real time as a small icon on your phone moves
across a map. Transactions get charged to your credit card,
so you don't have to worry about giving your kid a fistful
"Your child is your most precious cargo," Shuddle founder
and CEO Nick Allen told HuffPost. "And we've built and
designed our whole service with that in mind." - more....
drivers in South Carolina covered by state-approved
Search of Uber’s Unicorn
legality in Salem up to city council - (Salem,
and Cabbies in a D.C. Death Match - (Washington
Vegas invasion sparks conflict, needs compromise
- (Las Vegas, Nevada)
service launches in Las Vegas & Monterrey, Mexico
Uber drivers can't win: they're fighting supply and
Los Angeles Uber Drivers Say It Sucks to Be Them
Secrets You Learn Being an Uber Driver in Los Angeles
|Europe, Africa, and the Middle
cabbies end strike after taxi boss says he will no
longer offer white drivers on request
Manchester Evening News - (Manchester, England)
Oct 26, 2014 09:52
By Dan Thompson
A group of Asian cabbies have called off their strike after
their boss said he would no longer offer white drivers to
customers on request.
More than 50 furious cabbies from Car 2000, in Heywood,
walked out in protest after owner Stephen Campbell revealed
his firm allowed callers to specify the race of their
They gathered in the town on Friday night to take a stand
against the policy – blasting it as ‘racist’ and
But, after Mr Campbell told the M.E.N. his firm would no
longer offer the service, the drivers have decided to go
back to work for Car 2000. - more....
says he was 'lucky' to be hit by a taxi after doctors
discovered brain tumour
London Evening Standard - (London, England)
Published: 27 October 2014
A cyclist says he feels like “the luckiest person in the
world” to have been hit by a black cab — because it led to
the discovery of a brain tumour.
Paul Bartlett, 37, from East Dulwich, was diagnosed by
chance after being invited to take part in a research
project following his stay in hospital.
He was among a group of brain tumour survivors who attended
the launch of a centre of excellence set up by charity Brain
Tumour Research at Queen Mary University of London.
Mr Bartlett, who teaches art and design at Kingsford
Community School in Beckton, was working as a barista in a
coffee shop before starting his PGCE at the time of the
crash, in May 2010. He was run over by a black cab in Soho
Square and admitted to UCLH.
Mr Bartlett told the Standard: “I woke up in hospital and I
didn’t really know what was going on. I went back to sleep
and woke up in the morning, and was confronted by a doctor
who said ‘Your helmet saved your life’.”
After recovering, he was invited to take part in a research
project testing cognitive behaviour. A 15-minute MRI scan
revealed the tumour. - more....
doctor put 'Ebola' patient in taxi
The Local - (Stockholm, Sweden)
Published: 27 Oct 2014 12:45 GMT+01:00
A Stockholm doctor breached national guidelines by sending a
girl suspected of having the Ebola virus to hospital in a
taxi, it has emerged.
The child - who is understood to have recently returned from
the Democratic Republic of Congo - had a fever and had been
vomiting for more than a week when she was seen by the
doctor at a medical centre in southern Stockholm in
September, according to news agency TT.
After initially suspecting malaria, the doctor then
contacted Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge,
Stockholm, to say he believed the girl may have contracted
the deadly Ebola virus that has killed almost five thousand
people, mostly in west Africa.
After being put on hold by a nurse, he panicked that he had
been cut off and decided to send his patient to the hospital
in a taxi, reports TT.
The move breached strict guidelines that require patients to
be immediately quarantined if they are thought to have
Ebola, to avoid the virus spreading to others. - more....
taxis offer free therapy sessions
The Local - (Stockholm, Sweden)
Published: 27 Oct 2014 15:45 GMT+01:00
Ever found yourself talking to your taxi driver so much that
it felt like a therapy session?
Well over the next two weeks, that feeling could become a
reality as Taxi Stockholm sends three qualified therapists
out with drivers around the capital.
Stockholmers can book a trip in advance and air their issues
while jetting across town. And they shouldn't be afraid that
drivers might share their mother complexes with the world -
the cabbies have all signed non-disclosure agreements.
No trip is too short, according to Mia Fahlén, one of the
psychologists involved in the project.
"We don't know exactly how long each trip will be, so we
have to be flexible," she told The Local.
She believes even a ten-minute trip could be enough to point
a customer in a direction that could change their lives for
What's more - the experience will most likely be cheaper
than booking an ordinary therapy session, with Fahlén
explaining that an hour-long discussion with her usually
costs up to 1,200 kronor ($165).
The therapist says she signed up to the scheme to chase the
"thrill of the unknown", but added that she could predict
the main topic of worry from residents in the Swedish
"A lot of people are lonely. There are so many single people
in Stockholm," she says.
"And a lot of the people I meet from abroad tell me they're
frustrated with Sweden. They say it's really hard to meet
people and that even when they try, the Swedes can be very
Natalia Santos, a press officer at Taxi Stockholm, said the
idea sprung from a customer survey the company recently
carried out. - more....
dragged drunk man for 100 meters
Shanghai Daily - (Shanghai, China)
By Ke Jiayun | October 28, 2014, Tuesday
A TAXI driver has been given a three-year suspended prison
sentence for dragging a man for 100 meters behind his cab,
leaving him with brain injuries.
The cabbie, surnamed Wu, was found guilty of intentional
injury, Yangpu District People’s Court said yesterday.
After having dinner with friends on January 12, the victim,
surnamed Song, had knocked at the window of Wu’s cab which
was pulled over on Fushun Road, the court heard.
But Wu believed that Song had been drinking alcohol and
could be trouble, so refused him, claiming that he was off
duty. - more....
many taxis and too few public servants - less in the
bank for Canberra cabbies
The Canberra Times - (Canberra, Australia)
Date October 24, 2014
Reporter at The Canberra Times
Taxi drivers say these are dark days for taxis in Canberra -
too many cabs and public service cuts, mixed with economic
uncertainty, have made people thrifty and the passengers
It used to be when you drove a cab in Canberra, the deal was
simple - you got fifty per cent of your earnings and the
rest went to your employer.
The cab owner pays for registration, serving and petrol; all
the driver had to do was drive the cab and count the money.
But Canberra cab drivers said everything changed in the past
five years and, as public service cuts began to bite and
more cabs hit the roads, business has decreased sharply.
Taxi driver 30-year-old Daniel Van de Zandt said he has been
driving for four years and in that time his weekly take had
dropped about a third.
"When I started it was easier to make money and now the pay
has gone down significantly, for the hours working. In a
car, when I started, I was doing six days a week and I could
be earning $1400-1500 a week for a 12-hour shift," he said.
"Now it probably could be $400-500 less a week, or more."
Daniel said before you can drive a taxi in the ACT you have
to have had your licence for more than a year, be over 21
and have a language certificate from CIT to prove you can
He said you also had to buy your uniform from the company,
with shirts costing about $60 a pop and jackets setting you
back more than $100.
"Then you pay to do a course, which is actually quite
expensive. When I did it four years ago it was under $500,
and that's just the theory test, then there's the driving
test that was $125," he said.
Compared with some Canberra drivers, Daniel has barely
started - 78-year-old Mick Simon has been driving a taxi in
the ACT for 43 years, coming to Canberra straight from
working on the Snowy Hydro Scheme in the 50s. - more....
defends industry against detractors
Stuff.com.nz - (New Zealand)
Last updated 05:00 28/10/2014
A Christchurch taxi driver says critics of the industry do
not understand how many standards drivers must meet and the
efforts made to protect passengers and drivers.
David Buckingham said he wanted to speak publicly about the
requirements taxi drivers needed to meet in response to
negative comments following a story published by The Press
The story said the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) had issued a
warning about unofficial sober-driver services after a
person unsuccessfully tried to set up a $20 taxi service
NZTA said such services were illegal unless they were
offered for free or the providers held passenger
endorsements and underwent police checks, as taxi and other
passenger service providers had to.
The story attracted criticism about the taxi industry
''People thought [closing the page] was anti-competition,''
Buckingham said. ''The reality is that actually it's
pro-safety.'' - more....
Finally Begins its Taxi Service in Seoul, Still Causing
Controversies - (Seoul, South Korea)
Updated oct 28 @ 15:42 GMT
Taxi News Archive