TFL Forcing Cabbies to Take Cards

Cabbies

Yesterday Guido had a look at how Action for Cabbies are looking to raise £600,000 to mount a legal challenge to TFL’s plans for mandatory card readers in black cabs. Under the proposals drivers would be forced to install a fixed card reading unit in the passenger compartment of their vehicle, bringing an end to the “Sorry, cash only guv” era. Action for Cabbies don’t seem best pleased by this, and the group’s protest has stood in sharp opposition to the LTDA’s call for a “taxi revolution”, with card readers and WiFi in every hackney carriage. So what’s it all about?

It turns out that the anger of Action for Cabbies isn’t focused on the principle of installing of card readers, they object to TFL’s restrictive proposals for how they should be installed. Most significantly, under the plans cabbies would not be able to pass on card processing fees to passengers as they can currently. This could cost each cab driver a proportion of their income, and is a restriction that virtually no other industry in the UK has to operate under. That is including private hire firms. Guido is for cabs having cards in them, however it doesn’t seem very fair to restrict the choice of cabbies and prevent them passing on costs to the consumer if they want to. Though if they do, it won’t help them compete with Uber…


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