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12 - Sep - 2018

Taxi Companies Oppose Proposal to Stop Controlling Number of Cabs in London

Taxi owners have threatened to take City Hall to court if a proposal to stop controlling the number of cabs in the capitals is implemented.

The taxi owners expressed their frustration in a public meeting at Centennial Hall on Tuesday.

According to the London Free Press, the plan to lift the cap will mean plateholders will not be able to transfer taxi licenses, rendering the plates worthless.

The proposal is a way of reshaping the ride-for-hire landscape after Uber’s entry into the market three years ago. Since there is no limit to the number of licenses issued for Uber vehicles, Uber drivers have flooded the market.

Taxi Association boss Jason Kukurudziak told politicians, “If you’re looking for a fight with the taxi industry, pass the bylaw. We’ll see you in court.”

The London taxi firms warned city hall that lifting the cap would cause “disproportionate harm” to the taxi industry.

The proposal will change the vehicle-for-hire bylaw that covers limos, taxis and Uber in London. The changes will cover fares, fees, vehicle age, cap on accessible cabs, cap on standard cabs and the requirement to install cameras inside taxis however, the removal of the cap is the most contentious among the changes.

Removing the cap will benefit new entrants into the industry as they will not be required to rent or buy licenses from owners. Those who bought plates during the peak period bought them for $100,000 on the street but are now said to have fallen to $30,000 since Uber’s arrival.

The community and protective services committee voted 4-2 to recommend more consultative talks about the cap between staff and taxi industry stakeholders.

Yellow Taxi President Hasan Savehilaghi, termed the solution as “lazy” but said more information would help the council make the right decision.

Coun. Bill Armstrong called for a blanket ban on new licenses until potential effects of lifting the cap are determined.

By Airport Pickups London