2017 has been a very eventful year for the industry, seeing the entry and (swift) exit of new operator Lyft, the turmoil of new proposed operator licence fees, and of course the Uber saga. Here we look at what 2018 may bring, with our Five Taxi and Private Hire Industry 2018 Predictions
Uber to be re-licensed
Despite their flagrant disregard for rules and regulations, we don’t believe TfL have the appetite to fight the American firm’s lobbying and PR machine. As a result, in our opinion, the rejection of their licence renewal application will prove nothing more than a slap on the wrist. TfL will relicense the “transport company” as long as they promise to stick to a number of provisos. Crucially, Uber will need to amend their processes so that the firm first accepts a passenger’s journey request and then passes the booking on to a driver. As it stands, their deception regarding the current workflow has allowed thousands of PH drivers to avoid complying with the requirement to obtain an operator’s licence. This should be a simple change. Why they chose to risk the consequences of being caught providing a fudged explanation on the subject, rather than making the necessary amendments at the outset, is a mystery?
TfL lose in court – The LPHCA’s legal appeal to be successful
When you look at how bonkers the regulator’s new operator fee proposals are, it’s hard to see the British courts siding with them on this one. When they meet in the high court on February 6th, we believe they’ll be asked to go away and re-examine the logic of what they’ve put forward.
Read more: The LPHCA Fighting Fund
Electric cab will prove popular & gas conversions to soar
LEVC’s Chairman Peter Forster, in a recent interview for Automotive News Europe, said that
“a London cabbie who structures his day so that he drives mostly electric can save about 100 pounds (112 euros) a week.”
So, despite the upfront cost, will cabbies plump for mod cons and extra comfort? Price conscious cabbies will see the value in converting their existing TX’s and eek out a few more years from them.
Read more about LPG conversions: LPG conversion by GasCab – Give your TX a new lease of life
Gett app to expand outside of London
The Israel based company will continue to win contracts from blue chip following sustained investment in its IT platform. The acquisition of the BBC’s corporate account demonstrates the pulling power. As they battle with the likes of MyTaxi and Uber for market share their presence beyond the capital with grow in commercial centres such as Glasgow and Birmingham.
Private Hire driver numbers to drop
With increased costs and more competition – resulting in lower income and more regulatory burden – the number of drivers licensed will fall (despite our prediction that Uber will be relicensed), especially in London. Numbers across the country may hold steady as app based tech giant continues to gain regional approval and popularity.
If some – or all – of our 2018 predictions come true, it could be a year of major changes. Let’s hope for the most positive outcomes for the industry!