CV Sector News Policy

TfL shapes regulatory framework with the help of taxi operators

09 April 2014 #CV Sector #News #Policy

Transport for London invited the taxi and private hire trades to help shape a regulatory framework for consumer mobile phone applications for the sector.

The new legislation is being created to stay on top of the boom in smartphone applications that recommend and direct the public to taxi and private hire firms.

The aim is to not impede such technology but to create a framework that will ensure high standards of public safety and customer service are maintained in the trade.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said, “We welcome developments that make life easier for passengers.

“We are asking the trade to embrace these advances in technology, which have the potential to further improve London’s taxi and private hire services, and have asked them to be part of the formal process to help shape the regulatory framework in this rapid developing area.”

The issue was recently discussed at a meeting involving some TfL licensed taxi firms, with the main debate circling around where the app directs the public.

TfL outlined that only licensed operators could offer and accept bookings, and it highlighted that while an app may contact a licensed hackney cab driver directly, it would be classed as an illegal booking unless the driver and their operator accepts the booking on licensed premises.

Another issue settled from the meeting was that only TfL licensed operators would be included on the apps, and if it illegally directs a customer to a driver for private hire, then it will take appropriate action against the mobile application’s developer.

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