Now I'm sure you've all heard someone say this when trying to defend how wonderful Uber "supposedly" is;
"Well I once tried to get a Black Taxi and the driver refused to take me to South London"
Or it might be this one;
"I wanted to pay by card. He didn't take card"
When I hear either of these complaints during a Taxi V Uber debate, I find myself literally laughing out loud, so loud infact, that sometimes snot uncontrollably shoots from my nostrils. (Yes, it happens to the best of us)
If that's the biggest problem with traditional Taxis, then I'd say we're not doing to bad. Yes of course, being from the new school of driver, I believe we should, if our light is on for hire, take any job that is asked from us, within the legal requirements of course, and every driver should accept card payments. BUT... and that's a big but, because I like big BUTS and I can not lie, if you're trying to convince me that either of those complaints have a major part to play in our current plight, then no, I'm sorry but that's utter garbage.
If you tell me that a driver "refused the journey" I'll tell you an Uber driver raped a woman. If you tell me that "the driver didn't accept cards" I'll tell you that an Uber driver murdered someone.
You tell me which ones are worse...?
Our industries primary regulatory goal should be safety. Absolute paramount and at the forefront of anyone's mind.
But we all know it's not anymore.
Money now control's this trade, and the majority of it is being taken by those who have never been behind the wheel of a 'fully' licensed Taxi. Money taken by tech geeks. Money taken by sat-nav junkies. And money taken by regulators who quite simply, are not regulating.
Please spare me the bull-crap about how "we're doing our best to support the black cab industry"... NO YOU ARE NOT!
Please spare me the bull-crap about how you believe "the black taxi industry plays a vital role in Londons transport network".. NO YOU DON'T!
If you cared in the slightest, we wouldn't feel like an outcast in our own city. There's no argument whatsoever that could convince me that the Black Taxis of London have ever let this city down. We are proud, honest, hardworking men and women who are at the very top of our profession.
Forcing credit card payments on drivers, giving us access to 15 more bus lanes, allocating us more ranks, none of these things matter if you have no one sitting in the back of your vehicle!
TFL and the mayor of London, I ask you
"What are you ACTUALLY doing to help the Black Taxi industry?"
I could hear a pin drop.
At some point something is going to give. What? When? Where? .... Who knows? But London is bursting, and so is my patience.
So next time someone tries to use any of the pathetic arguments about our naughty naughty drivers, please just laugh so much that your top lip gets covered in snot!
At least that way, your nose is cleared just in time to smell the bull-crap!