Well, what a fortnight it has been. The Daily Mail has suddenly become the Taxi trades buddy again, Tom Elvidge has once again operated his mouth before engaging his brain and the Evening Standard.....or The Daily Uber as I like to refer to them have had to pull a story regarding the cleanliness of the mode of transport people use for their daily commute after it was discovered that one of the directors of the company that was involved in the alleged research (stifles cough, laughter and a little fart) has the same correspondance address as The Daily Uber (sorry I mean The Evening Standard).
Looking at the Evening Standard story first, my own view is that a 9 year old child with the most basic grasp of rudimentary mathmetics could debunk this. The Evening Standard looked at 4 modes of transport. The Underground, Bus, PHV/Uber and Taxi.
An underground train carries approximately 800 people when all carriages are at full capacity and takes around 2 hours to get from one end of a major line to the other (Central/District). The same said Underground train will be in operation for around 19 hours in a day. The train will not operate at full capacity for the full 19 hours. Now isolating the train to just 1 carriage at certain points in the day that carriage will be jam-packed, therefore if you isolate any given seat during the entire working day of that given carriage it is not unreasonable to assume that at least 10 different bums will seat on that seat in an hour if taken over an average......so we are looking at 190 people a day being seated in 1 seat.
A bus when operating at full capacity will carry around 100 people and be operational for around 18 hours a day. A bus only operates at full capacity at certain times. Again isolating just 1 seat across the average day a single bus seat will sit no more than 5 people on it in any given hour. Therefore it isnt unreasonable to believe that no more than 90 people will sit in just one seat throughout the day.
A PHV/Uber when at full capacity will carry a maximum of 4 people (not including the driver) and will on average do no more than 2 jobs an hour so potentially carry no more than 2 people in any given isolated seat. Given that an average day for a PHV/Uber driver works around 12 hours a day as an average the its safe to assume that potentially no more than 24 bums will sit in any given seat as a maximum.
A Taxi when at full capacity carries up to 6 people (not including the driver and depending on the vehicle as some are only licensed for 5). Again a Taxi driver will do on average 2 jobs an hour over an average 10 hour working day (PHVs traditionally work longer hours as their hourly income is lower). Therefore 20 bums will potentially sit on 1 seat in an average working day.
This therefore begs the question how exactly did Taxis be accused of having the dirtiest seats in London and Uber the cleanest with the tube and bus network somewhere in between.....The answer is Samantha J Gross, the intern who did the report for the Evening Standard. I have been informed that she may allegedly be an active lobbyist for Uber, also one of the directors of the company that she used for her alleged research shares the same business/ correspondance address as the Eveining Standard.
My statistics are back of a "fag packet" statistics, based on no major research and open to dispute and dare I say it but its not beyond the realms of possibility that a PHVs seats may be cleaner than a Taxis seats BUT how on earth did Ms Gross reach the conclusion that not only are Taxis seats dirtier and carry more pathogens than Ubers but also a bus or train seat, that makes absolutely no sense neither logically nor statistically and WHY specifically Ubers seats......why not Green Tomatoes, Addison Lee or any other PHV firm ? Could it be the fact that the allegation that she is an Uber lobbyist be in fact correct ? The Evening Standard have form on this in the guise of Stephen Rowe, Ubers rent-a-mouth. Whenever Uber require positive spin from "an employee" he is usually their "go to" man, remember ES magazine doing a spread on the life of an average Uber driver, he was one of the three people interviewed, remember when he was interviewed on LBC and was summararily torn to shreds by several presenters, remember when he gave evidence to parliament regarding the gig economy. Ms Gross (no laughing at the back there) A BUM IS A BUM, people sit in seats, people pick their nose, people, eat, fart, spit. sneeze, sometimes vomit, occasionally bleed and have even been known to have semen and vaginal fluid on their hands......it's called human life and if you think the seats on public transport are disgusting then i suggest that you never touch a door handle again or handle cash in any form.....GET OVER IT.
I am curious as to the "official" reason that this story was "pulled". The Evening Standard will probably play the "Ms Gross was attacked on social media" card.....if that were the case then they would have to pull a multitude of stories from the newsfeeds. I believe the real reason is because the alleged research wasnt just flawed but possibly non-existant and was "fake-news" designed to deflect away from the complete and utter mess that Uber have found themselves in surrounding their influence on government and nepotism at the highest level. Reporting "fake news", nepotism, being a lobbyist, none of this makes you a journalist.....reporting in an honest belief and with truth based on undisputable fact is what makes you a journalist, regardless of who your editor may be. Failure to do this makes a journalist nothing more than a paid puppet or cheerleader for any given cause and potentially brings their entire back catalogue of work into disrepute.
Finally I bring up Tom Elvidge, a man who is yet again bleating about an industry he seems to know nothing about (but I suspect differently) . This time Tom is whining about the fact that Taxis will be exempt from the "T-Charge" but PHVs won't be. There is a very simple reason Tom, Taxis are part of the PUBLIC transport network as confirmed by the mayor. PHVs are PRIVATE hire vehicles.....The clue is in the name Tom. Private vehicles that are not part of the public transport network will have to pay the aforemementioned charge and despite yours and your colleagues efforts to convince everybody otherwise, you are NOT part of the public transport network. As an aside one of the other reasons that logically Taxis should be exempt is because right now we have only TWO vehicles to choose from and no viable alternative whereas PHVs (which include Uber) have a multitude of vehicles to choose from. In short Tom what you are REALLY asking for is that the Taxi industry is dimantled directly for your companys' benefit by stealth, charge the Taxi industry for something they have no control over, pushing up costs and making the industry non-viable whilst your drivers and other PHV companys' drivers switch vehicle with the greatest of ease thus creating a PHV monopoly. Tom Elvidge, bull can usually be smelt from a long way off.....and i'm afraid you are a tad pungent at the moment. I suggest that engaging the grey matter before engaging the vast expanse within ones face may be a prudent exercise. You can fool all of the people some of the time and you can fool some of the people all of the time.....but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
Let's be careful out there and keep those doors locked.