Plans for RFID cards to be issued to taxi drivers ensuring access onto designated taxi charging-bays could be HALTED after news that the scheme would cost ‘extortionate amounts of money’.
Drivers of London electric taxis were originally told they would be issued with RFID cards to put an end to illegally parked private hire vehicles and other cars blocking vital designated rapid chargepoints.
In London alone over 5,500 electric taxi drivers have invested hundred’s of millions of pounds in Zero Emissions Capable (ZEC) vehicles since January 2018. The problems around designated taxi chargepoint access escalated so much that a social media channel to report private hire vehicles and other private cars using the bays was established.
Drivers on the social media platform Twitter sent in photos, videos and details to @taxis_e who in turn sent regular reports to TfL.
In uploaded videos taxi drivers were often verbally abused by other drivers incorrectly using the designated bays. The issuing of RFID cards was seen as a positive move by charging companies and the transport regulator.
However, nine-months on from originally approving the idea, the cost of implementing and maintaining the scheme is seen to be too high.
Taxi representatives are now looking to go direct to the charging companies to find a solution.
Steve McNamara, Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) General Secretary, said in TAXI Newspaper: “When discussing taxi-only rapid charging infrastructure, again TfL told us that it all comes down to money. They told us that the private companies who supply taxi charge points want “extortionate amounts of money” to provide the simple RFID card solution we have been calling for, which would guarantee taxi-only access.
“We agreed during the meeting that the LTDA would liaise with senior management at one of the providers to seek a solution directly and possibly avoiding all the red tape and bureaucracy that seems to get in the way.”