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US taxi & FHV association TLPA changes its name to ‘The Transportation Alliance’ at New Orleans Spring Conference & Expo

US taxi & FHV association TLPA changes its name to ‘The Transportation Alliance’ at New Orleans Spring Conference & Expo

The Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) will now be known as ‘The Transportation Alliance.’

The name change is part of a strategic positioning and rebranding effort that has been underway for more than a year within the 101-year-old trade association. The name was unveiled and officially adopted at a meeting of the group’s membership during its Spring Conference & Expo in New Orleans today.

“The Transportation Alliance is a modern, inclusive name we can all embrace as we look to the future of how our professional for-hire fleets connect with passengers,” said Terry O’Toole, president of the association. “Transportation is one of the most rapidly changing industries on the planet right now, and that will continue. We needed a name that welcomes old and new partners alike into our broadening tent, and The Transportation Alliance imparts that strategic direction.”

The association has changed its name several times over the past century to best reflect its membership, which now spans 250 cities on four continents. Its last name change was nearly 30 years ago.

The new name was the product of several strategic planning sessions in 2018 aimed at positioning the association for the changing landscape of transportation. The new logo and rebranding campaign were created by MESH Design and Development, the same company that created the association’s Ride Local™ campaign. The name change and associated rebranding are expected to be fully in place within the next 90 days.

  • TLPA becomes ‘The Transportation Alliance’. This is the new logo.
9 Shared-mobility startups eager to disrupt transportation

9 Shared-mobility startups eager to disrupt transportation

Nine upstarts pitched ideas to advance the booming shared-mobility industry Thursday in Chicago. Some tackled the young industry’s most dogged problems.

Executives from nine fledgling companies faced three judges and 120 conventioneers on the opening afternoon of the Shared Use Mobility Summit. Read to the end to discover which three were selected as semifinalists to compete for votes over the next two days.

CLEVR is offering a three-wheeled scooter that can be fitted with a seat to make it viable for disabled persons. But the company’s real secret weapon is a super-precise GPS tracking module that’s accurate to within three feet. So CLEVR can tell where the scooter is being ridden and it can modify the scooter’s top speed.

“Rather than try to control user behavior management, we can try to control the vehicles deployed through intelligence,” said CEO Alex Nesic. “Sidewalk driving can now be geofenced and controlled at a reasonable speed.” And data showing where users prefer the sidewalk can tip city officials off to streets that feel unsafe.

Koloni began as a bike sharing operation in Pocahontas, Iowa, when its founders thought, Why not use the same platform to share other things too? Users with the app can not only unlock bicycles and scooters, but also unlocks Koloni’s storage lockers to borrow basketballs, tennis rackets, or whatever objects a city, university or property owner wants to lend.

“They can download the app and they essentially have a key to the city,” said co-founder and CEO Brian Downey.

Bellhop. There are now a billion people worldwide using thousands of different apps to access rideshareing services, according to Bellhop CEO Payam Safa, often with each app tied to a single platform or company. This makes it difficult for potential users to know which company offers the best rates or even which mobility options might be best. “The solution is pretty straight forward,” Safa said, “We combine all of these into one app.” Bellhop wants to build a mega-app that integrates rideshare, bikeshare and public transit.

Mobility 4 All seeks to provide a trusted source of mobility for seniors and people with disabilities who are unable to drive.

The company will vet and certify drivers from other transportation companies through the app it calls MO. A rideshare transaction will take place between three parties—the driver, the rider, and the rider’s caregiver, who is able to request the ride and monitor its progress through the app. “Imagine a world when mobility doesn’t end when you can’t drive,” said CEO John Q. Doan, “when you never have to have that talk with your parent about losing their keys.”

RideOn. The Spanish company RideIT wants to clean up the dockless scooter mess in other cities by providing universal docks that can serve multiple scooter brands, charge the scooters with universal charging architecture and manage them with universal tracking keys. “This platform, which is managed by RideOn, is the solution for all those shared electric mobility companies that do not have their own charging stations,” according to a promotional video that helped make RideOn’s pitch.

SomEV. The battery engineers behind the Somerville Electric Vehicle Company designed a bike- and scooter-share system that addresses the three main obstacles they identify to use: cost, charging time and range anxiety. When users rent scooters and e-bikes equipped with SomEV batteries, they can supplement range by stopping at a battery kiosk to swap out a dying battery pack for a charged one.

TIKD works behind the scenes to solve a problem that has hampered the growth of the rideshare movement: the muddled responsibility for traffic and parking tickets. Currently, the ticketing agency tickets the vehicle, and eventually contacts the owner via snail mail. The owner then has to pursue the driver, who may have rented the vehicle weeks before. “This process is incredibly inefficient, there’s so much room for error, and as a result agencies are not able to collect on time for these citations,” said TIKD co-founder Megan Broccoli. Meanwhile, vehicle owners may face late fees, collection fees, booting, towing or impounding of the vehicle.

Velocia. Public agencies have generally had to resort to punishing companies or users for bad behavior or taxing modes of transportation they want to discourage. Velocia wants to try positive behavior modification instead. “Rather than look at an approach of taxing or penalizing, why not reward people for parking in a specific area,” said Velocia CEO David Winterstein, or for taking the bus or train instead of driving, or for using a shared bicycle instead of a car. The company is working on a pilot project in Miami.

Vostok took on the same three obstacles to sharing that SomEV identified—cost, charging access, and range anxiety, and designed a scooter to address them. The Vostok E7 has a removable battery pack with a 60-mile range that can be charged in any standard electric socket. “A lot of times, people won’t adopt an EV solution because of the range, because of the lack of charging points and because of the price,” said co-founder Rachel Lesslar, so Vostok developed a removable battery at lower cost that’s easily recharged anywhere.

And the winner is…. Three judges listened to these pitches yesterday in Chicago and selected three that will compete for votes during the remainder of the summit.

Read the full story and see the winners:

  • 9 Shared-mobility startups eager to disrupt transportation.
The unethical greed of Deliveroo and Uber Eats

The unethical greed of Deliveroo and Uber Eats

Home-cooked meals can be a troublesome affair. First, a savoury,

nutritious meal must be chosen from what seems like an endless selection of dishes. Then a trip to the supermarket is required to locate the various, skillfully-disguised ingredients, a task more challenging than identifying a Bichon Frise in a cotton field. Finally, there’s the messy business of actually cooking the meal, during which everything must be chopped appropriately, timed precisely, and presented somewhat handsomely.

If the troublesome task of cooking is too much for us, we can visit a local restaurant instead, though this requires us to adorn appropriate clothing and the proper facial expressions, when we’d really rather sit in front of the television like blissfully comfortable, rotund slugs, with no nearby humans to offend.

Enter food delivery services Deliveroo and Uber Eats. For the lazy among us, their discovery was one of air-punching jubilance — we suddenly had access to a huge selection of local restaurants, via smartphone apps designed with such skill that not a shred of brainpower is needed to successfully order luscious food, right to your front door.

Deliveroo and Uber Eats are a lazy consumer’s dream, and their popularity is unsurprising. They release us from the effort of home cooking and the social obligations of dining out, granting us the convenience of being slothful hermits, comfortable and gratified within the safety of our home.

Deliveroo and Uber Eats are wonderful for the consumer, but not-so-great for restaurants and delivery riders. Beneath their wonderfully-designed facades are business practices that appear to be hell-bent on profit, with negligible ethical considerations. Here’s why.

Uber Eats take a 35% commission on every single order, and Deliveroo an average of 30% (negotiated per restaurant). For many small business owners, that’s their entire gross profit. Each restaurant must calculate whether food delivery services bring enough additional profit to justify the work. Caitlin Crawfurd — owner of Petty Cafe in Melbourne — accused Uber Eats of acting like “feudal overlords,” and decided to remov her restaurant from the directory due to the excessive commission rates, and their insistence upon sharing the cost of order errors — another financial penalty that makes it even harder for small eateries to make profit. Burgers by Josh owner Josh Arthurs made the same decision, declaring that “you’re doing it for free with Uber Eats.” Tax specialist Cameron Keng agrees, who after comparing average gross profit margins with Uber Eats commission rates, concludes that “Uber Eats will eat you into bankruptcy.”

Mr Arthurs has also taken a reputation hit due to Uber Eats, after a customer gave his restaurant a one-star review due to the food being cold on arrival — a factor completely outside of his control.

If food delivery services are so costly, why do restaurants use them? One of the main reasons appears to be free marketing — a way to gain additional exposure in the hope that customers will forego their laziness and decide to visit the eatery in person, though it’s questionable (and difficult to measure) how often this actually happens. What’s worse, Deliveroo and Uber Eats have the potential to turn a profitable, regularly visiting customer into a non-profitable, regular delivery customer.

There’s also the palpable fear of becoming “invisible”. If a restaurant decides to abandon food delivery services, will customers bother to visit now that they have quick access to a hoard of other eateries via the apps? The existence and popularity of the apps is likely to make a restaurant feel forced to continue using them, out of fear that they’ll shrink into oblivion. Uber Eats and Deliveroo has them by the balls, which is why they can continue to charge extortionate commission rates. Maybe if restaurants rallied together and quit, the services would consider charging a fairer percentage?

Delivery riders get next to nothing, and have little power

Delivery riders for Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Foodora staged a protest in Sydney last year, claiming to earn as little as $6 p/hr—less than a third of the Australian minimum wage. In the UK, Uber Eats originally paid their delivery riders £20 p/hr, but as the service grew in popularity, wages decreased to a complex formula of £3.30 per delivery, plus £1 per mile, plus a £5 “trip reward.”

Deliveroo engaged in similar tactics, initially paying £7 p/hr, plus £1 a delivery, petrol and customer tips. It shortly moved to a one-off delivery payment of £3.75. Many riders struggle to earn a living in the food delivery gig economy, lacking the protection of a standard minimum wage.

Business author Sangeet Paul Choudary believes that the creation of a well-functioning food delivery market is at odds with empowering workers, and as a result, Uber and Deliveroo are exploiting their workers in order to be successful. The platforms afford little control to their riders, setting wages, shift times, and delivery routes, without the possibility of negotiation. Delivery riders for these services simply cannot work on their own terms. In addition to this, the reputation that they build while working for Uber Eats or Deliveroo cannot be ported over to another job, as they’re technically self-employed. This makes it difficult for workers to shift to employment that is outside of the platform, which is all other employment.

There’s also the question of collective bargaining rights, recently denied by the UK courts for Deliveroo riders, due to their self-employed status. These food delivery services appear to have designed their businesses in such a way as to grant their riders as little power as possible, ensuring that collective action is impossible.

Back in Australia, a recent workers right inquiry confirmed that gig economy workers have lower wages than regular employees, and miss out on a number of other benefits. Until governments consider protective regulation for gig economy employees, food delivery services will continue to exploit their workers.

Former restaurant hostess Darby Hane believes that delivery services make the work day in a restaurant a “living hell,” cluttering up the establishment and diminishing the experience for profitable guests. “There are more delivery people than there are restaurant patrons waiting for a table, because new guests cannot bypass this cluster at the front door.” — Darby Hane

Entering a restaurant to be faced with a wall of brightly-clad delivery workers, heads bowed staring at their phones, makes for a terrible first impression and could set a potentially negative tone for the evening.

In light of the unethical business practices of Uber Eats and Deliveroo, what should we do instead? (…) Though our lethargy will probably defeat us from time to time, if we have any care for the well-being of delivery workers, or the prosperity of culture-boosting local restaurants, we should consider a boycott of Uber Eats and Deliveroo. Their exploitative business practices have been supported by us for long enough.

Continue reading…

  • “…. if we have any care for the well-being of delivery workers, or the prosperity of culture-boosting local restaurants, we should consider a boycott of Uber Eats and Deliveroo.”
Women in public transport: Ground-breaking agreement announced on International Women’s Day

Women in public transport: Ground-breaking agreement announced on International Women’s Day

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and UITP (the International Association of Public Transport) have signed a joint agreement to strengthen women’s employment in public transport. The two parties will now work with unions and employers to implement the agreement in pilot cities, with an announcement of the first city expected later this year. This agreement, announced on International Women’s Day, is another step forward in advancing the role of women in our sector.

In 2018, UITP partnered with the World Bank to shed light on the needs of women as public transport users. The global campaign, ‘PT4ME’, was launched with the support of over 240 of UITP members who disseminated it from their stations and social networks. This year, for International Women’s Day (8 March 2019), and under the theme #BalanceforBetter, UITP is relaunching the PT4ME campaign and shifting the focus to women as workers in the public transport sector. ITF are proud supporters of the campaign.

UITP is also delighted to announce that Moovit, a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) provider and the world’s #1 urban mobility app, making getting around town easier and more convenient, will be disseminating our PT4ME messages from their mobile application! The special messages on International Women’s Day will be given further prominence due to Moovit’s global reach across 90 countries in the world.

The ITF and UITP agreement on women in public transport shows the practical recommendations for policies to strengthen women’s employment, equal opportunities and promote decent work. It covers nine areas:  Working culture and gender stereotypes, recruitment, work environment and design, facilities (including sanitation), health and safety at work, work-life balance, training, pay equality and corporate policy.

“It is clear that when you improve working conditions to support women’s employment, you improve public transport working conditions for everyone”, said Diana Holland
Chair of the ITF Women Transport Workers’ Committee. “That is why the recommendations in this agreement are so important; every worker and every passenger will benefit from their implementation. But it needs public transport workers and employers to work closely if the agreement is going to lead to real change. That’s why we are working with the UITP, and together we’ll identify pilot cities to implement the agreement and create a public transport system that everyone,
including women, deserves.”

Cécile Sadoux, Head of People Management at UITP added: “Women’s participation within the sector should not only be promoted, but actively celebrated, with strong institutional and top management support. We need to see changes and improvements in female participation rates from “onboard” our vehicles to “on the Board” of management throughout our organisations.”

  • More women in public transport: ITF and UITP join forces to get women ‘onboard’ of public transport and ‘on the Board’ of public transport companies.
Lime’s integration with Google Maps expands to a further 80 cities

Lime’s integration with Google Maps expands to a further 80 cities

Lime’s bikes and scooters can now be found via Google Maps by users in almost 100 different cities worldwide, from London to Mexico City.

Better connected mobility is set to be one of the hallmarks of 2019, and in line with that trend, micromobility provider Lime has announced that riders in more than 80 new cities around the world will be now be able to find a nearby bike or scooter in Google Maps.

How the Lime options appear on the transit tab in Google Maps

Lime users have been able to find bikes and scooters in Google Maps since December 2018, when the company integrated its services into the transit option on Google’s app. Then, users in 13 cities could find bikes and scooters from the app, meaning the inclusion of more than another 80 locations marks significant progress in making the potentially congestion-busting services more accessible.

Users can also see estimated costs and arrival times next to each vehicle, which Lime says will help users to better gauge their transportation options.

The feature is available on both Android and iOS. To view nearby Limes, Google Maps users need to tap the transit icon when viewing directions to any nearby destination. Once ready to unlock the scooter, a tap on the Lime card will direct users either to their Lime app or the appropriate app store if it’s not already installed. A complete list of cities is available from Google and Lime.

Read the full story:

  • Lime’s integration with Google Maps expands to a further 80 cities.
NAVYA announces the appointment of Étienne Hermite as CEO

NAVYA announces the appointment of Étienne Hermite as CEO

NAVYA,  a leading company in the autonomous vehicle market and in smart and shared mobility solutions, announces today the appointment of Étienne Hermite as Chief Executive Officer. His mandate will take effect on March 18.

After graduating from HEC in 1999, Étienne Hermite, 42, started his career as Business Development Manager for Vivendi Universal’s digital branch before joining Boston Consulting Group in 2004, where he worked on several Strategy and Organization assignments, notably for industrial clients. From 2006 onwards, he joined the Strategy Department of FNAC Group, with the challenge of developing new digital Business Models.

In 2008, he was appointed Strategy and Development Director division for France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg at Avis Europe. Following the company’s acquisition by Avis Budget Group in 2011, Étienne Hermite ensured, in 2014, the launch and development of Zipcar (digital car-sharing services company for rental cars acquired by Avis Budget Group in 2013) in France, Belgium and Austria.

From 2017 onwards, he provided its expertise in the mobility sector to several European in international startups. He notably operated the launch of Mobike (Chinese startup providing self-service bicycle offerings) in France before being appointed Managing Director France.

“I am honored and thrilled to be joining NAVYA, a reference autonomous mobility player,” says Étienne Hermite, NAVYA’s new CEO. “Positioned across the entire mobility solutions value chain, NAVYA stands out by its technological lead in a rapidly-changing market. Today, the company has the keys to achieve new milestones in terms of technology, products and services and activity development”.

  • NAVYA’s new CEO: Étienne Hermite.
Can a ridehailing app be ethical? Via thinks so.

Can a ridehailing app be ethical? Via thinks so.

Via pays its drivers more than any other company, focuses on environmentally friendly practices, and wants to decrease traffic congestion. But is there a catch?

Roman K. tried a lot of car jobs. After immigrating to New York from Tbilisi, Georgia, he worked at an auto shop, but the dust and chemicals made him sick. Then he drove for Uber, but the inconsistent hours and pay weighed on him. Finally, a friend introduced him to Via, and he’s been a driver with the company for more than a year. “I set my own schedule. I get something like a salary,” Roman, who asked not to use his last name, said, as I joined him on his usual morning route in a Mercedes Metris. “I like it so much.”

Via drivers make more than any other ridehail or taxi drivers in the city, according to the Taxi Limousine Commission of New York, the agency overseeing for-hire cars. Unlike Uber and Lyft drivers, they can pick between getting paid per ride and by the hour. They choose shifts for the next day, and know exactly how much they will make every week.

Via is trying to stand out in the ridehailing market by positioning itself as a more ethical company than its competitors. When Uber and Lyft protested minimum wages for their drivers in New York, Via embraced them. Whereas Uber and Lyft have been blamed for increasing traffic congestion, Via is built on shared rides and wants single-occupancy vehicles off the road. And while cities have contentious relationships with the gig economy, Via has successfully partnered with Los Angeles to be part of the public transit system.

But despite projecting wokeness, Via is still limited by the boundaries of an on-demand model where workers aren’t full staff members and those that scale the fastest always lead the pack. If that doesn’t change, the question remains: can Via, or any of the ridesharing companies that have upended the way people get around cities in the past few years, overcome the inherent problems baked into the ridehailing model and make our roads better?

Sitting alongside Roman in the logo-clad Metris, I watch his Via app guide him through the day. When he’s in blue mode—being paid per hour—the screen sometimes shows him flash promotions, where his base pay goes up to $30 and then $45 an hour for three hours. (The base pay is within a range that Via wouldn’t disclose, but the average driver makes about $21 per hour).

Via’s ridehailing system in New York and DC is mostly made up of a fleet of SUVs and vans, with some black cars. The algorithm is different than Uber’s Pool feature or Lyft Line because it routes drivers to invisible “bus stops” to keep them on specific pathways instead of directing them door to door. In slow times, drivers are routed to “terminals,” street-side areas where they wait until the next set of rides.

Roman said he drives 10 hours a day, four to six days a week. He takes a break as needed—sometimes an hour to do groceries for his family in Brooklyn. Via gives him spontaneous bonuses—last month he got a gift card to spend on gas. He often picks up the same commuters, on the same routes, which he likes. “That’s what I love about this job. The connection, the relationship,” he said.

Via has made it clear that it wants to pay drivers more than its competitors and so far, it has delivered. Late last year Uber and Lyft lamented, and actively fought against, the city’s decision to establish a minimum wage of $17 for all ridehail drivers—which would give Uber drivers $10,000 more per year on average. Via supported the change, largely because all of its drivers were already making minimum wage. According to Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) data, in 2018, before the ruling, Via drivers were making an average of $20.99 per hour, compared to Uber drivers who make $14.17 and Lyft drivers making $13.85.

So why would you ever choose to drive an Uber if you could drive a Via? One reason is that Vias are limited in the national market: the cars are only available in New York, DC, and Chicago. And even in New York, Via has a smaller fleet of cars than its counterparts, with around 1,900 cars on the road compared 5,400 for Lyft and 111,100 for Uber, according to the TLC. These numbers aren’t exact because some drivers use both apps, so there’s probably some overlap.

Drivers like Roman say it’s the best option out there. As we cross through the gridlocked Manhattan streets, dodging delivery trucks and waving to other Via drivers, he tells me he is at peace with his job. Roman said he makes decent money, he’s comfortable. He does push-ups during his break to stay limber. He gets to make people laugh.

Via’s narrower scale and model could also limit the diversity of its customers. In DC, the company violated a city law that requires for-hire services to extend across the District and not just in certain areas. Via refuted this claim, however, and said that since they focus exclusively on shared rides, not private ones, they launch in the densest areas and had yet to expand.

Ramot said that the smaller scale of Via’s fleet is by design, in part to support its goal of taking excess cars off the road. “You can’t solve this problem by dumping cars on the road. We want to have enough drivers but we definitely don’t want to have too many drivers,” he said. “The reality is if you’re choosing to ride alone you are utilizing resources—generating greenhouse gases and emissions and increasing congestion—in ways that are pretty significant.”

Ramot and his Israeli co-founder, Oren Shoval, were inspired to create Via after watching how shared taxis, called service (“sherut,” in Hebrew) taxis, worked in Tel Aviv, Israel. Like many cities around the world, Tel Aviv has ad hoc transport systems; sherut taxis, private minibuses that run up and down certain routes, allow customers to hop on and off.

Ramot and Shoval headquartered Via in New York, away from the Silicon Valley disruption culture, and devised a business based on two main products: ridehailing and ridehailing technology. The goal of Via from the beginning was to strengthen public transit, not replace it, Ramot said. Via, which has raised funding from German automaker Daimler and Israeli venture capitalist firm Pitango Growth, wants to provide “last-mile” transit (that is, getting people from their homes to metro and bus stops) and shared ride options where they don’t exist.

Continue reading….

• Can a ridehailing app be ethical? Via thinks so.

REPORT: Taxi & Mobility Update 2018: What does tomorrow’s mobility look like?

REPORT: Taxi & Mobility Update 2018: What does tomorrow’s mobility look like?

What’s tomorrow’s mobility going to look like? And what’s the taxi industry’s role in styling that new mobility? Or continuing to work in it? These and other questions were asked by the organisers and participants at the sixth annual international Taxi & Mobility Update conference, held in Brussels on 19 and 20 April.

As always, the conference focused on the current situation in the market between the classic taxi and private hire sector and regular public transport. In this market segment, new technical developments (autonomous vehicles) are encountering new mobility models (microtransit) from completely new market parties (OEM’s, car manufacturers). The justified question of this conference was therefore: ‘Who is in, and who is out of tomorrow’s mobility?’ And what roles do the different actors play?

Some 85 taxi operators, consultants, public transport specialists, mobility experts, government representatives, licensing authorities, technical specialists and other experts from various countries discussed tomorrow’s mobility and followed 20 specialist presentations at this unique, compact and traditionally highly-focused conference.

Taxi & Mobility Update also gave a compact overview of the present state of the rapidly changing mobility market and the resulting challenges for the future. Almost no theme was skipped. Shwetha Surender from mobility consultants Frost & Sullivan gave a good kick-off in her keynote and showed how not only the Uber’s and Lyft’s of this world work and partly control the mobility market, but also OEM’s, the car manufacturers, are getting stronger with taxi-like microtransit systems using small vans pooling passengers. These are systems like ViaVan (Daimler), Chariot (Ford) and MOIA (Volkswagen).

Caroline Cerfontaine of the world public transport organization UITP saw an important guiding and coordinating role for regular public transport in this new mobility world – including for new concepts like Mobility as a Service (MaaS). The theme of ‘combined mobility’ also fitted nicely with the presentations of the new electric ‘London’ TXE taxi by Benelux-importer Green Roads and the electric midi bus Jest presented by Turkish Karsan, a vehicle which would fit both microtransit-systems and MaaS.

How the practice of using e-taxis can be financially and economically viable, was illustrated by Gamis el Bouakili of Amsterdam airport company Schipholtaxi. Use of e-taxis cannot happen without a supporting policy (like promoting the roll-out of charging systems) by local and national government. Running the e-cabs is quite possible without a subsidy, the taxi operator demonstrated.

Remarkably, Professor Lieselot Vanhaverbeke (who is examining the use and effects of autonomous vehicles – soon also in a practical test with taxi company Taxis Verts in Brussels) and advisor Alwin Bakker (Resultancy) argued that the use of completely autonomous vehicles (level 5) is still decades away from us. Bakker’s estimate in particular was considerably less optimistic than last year. However, both speakers envisage the use of ‘simpler’ autonomous transport systems in the shorter term (level 3, 4).

Lawyer Pieter-Jan Aerts briefly explained the effects of the ‘Uber’ judgment of the EU Court of Justice (December 20, 2017) in which the court rules that Uber is a transport company, and discussed the question of whether the EU will actually develop European taxi policy. That’s unlikely, he concluded, unless the EU feels forced to do so (for example, by the recent court case in the European Economic Area focusing on taxi market restrictions in Norway). Lawyer Herwig Kollar illustrated how a classic and according to many ‘old-fashioned’ German taxi legislation offers consumers affordable and good quality taxi services throughout the country. But he also could not deny that with the current political climate in his country and with few allies for the taxi sector deregulation is likely.

The Dutch taxi image did not provide any particularly good examples of this deregulation (in 2000): the excesses that resulted from the deregulation of the taxi market in the big cities and the lack of taxis in many towns outside these cities caused a lot of discussion. It seemed like the Dutch model is not the one to follow.

Adviser Hein Maas illustrated some positive effects of Dutch re-regulation via TTO’s (small self-policing and self-disciplining driver associations) and in particular through quality mark-systems in a number of smaller cities. Karhoo’s Michael Galvin, an old hand in the taxi world, indicated that the transport of people has always been a chaotic business. And that will remain so in the future, according to him. He expects strong consolidation in the taxi sector and advises taxi companies to collaborate more with colleagues and thus jointly shape the future of the taxi sector. The app mytaxi, according to Claudia Breure, which is now active in a large number of European countries, is making a substantial contribution to this cooperation.

Simon Buggey of the Transport for London (TfL) licensing authority admitted that the number of private hire vehicles (mainly Uber) has now become a multiple of the number of taxis (120,000 versus 23,500) and new policies will have to be introduced to balance both systems. Steve McNamara from LTDA, who represents the London taxi operators, does not expect Uber to receive a new permit from TfL in June this year. Presently Uber runs without an operating licence pending the revision of Uber’s London case. That there is a huge gap between regulation in Western Europe and in Russia, was illustrated by Irina Zaripova, who for years has been campaigning for proper taxi regulation in Russia. She illustrated that the Russian regions are moving towards tighter regulation and proper protection of driver and customer.

The seventh Taxi & Mobility Update will be held in Brussels in the Spring of 2019. Presentations and photos can be found on

  • Irina Zaripova is campaigning for proper taxi regulations in Russia and protection for drivers and passengers alike.
Taxi & Mobility Intell Update 2018 – presentations

Taxi & Mobility Intell Update 2018 – presentations

April 19-20, 2018 – Brussels, Van der Valk Hotel 

Thursday April 19


Welcome by conference organiser Wim Faber, MobilityIntell, introducing conference moderator

Richard Harris, Mobility as a Service Alliance and Member of the Supervisory Board of ERTICO, London

Introductory keynote – “A view towards the horizon: The mobility landscape today and a view towards the horizon.” 01 Shwetha Surender part 1  01 Shwetha Surender part 2, Mobility Industry Principal, Frost & Sullivan, London. Q&A.

Future trends I – Tomorrow’s mobility.

“Tomorrow’s mobility – the innovative role of public transport operators.”

02 Caroline Cerfontaine, Manager Combined Mobility, UITP, Brussels.


“The autonomous future.”

03 Alwin Bakker part 1  03 Alwin Bakker part 2, Founder and CEO – Consultancy in Future Mobility, Rotterdam.


“Working in practice.” 04 Lieselot Vanhaverbeke part 1 04 Lieselot Vanhaverbeke part 2 Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Faculty of Economic and

Social Sciences & Solvay Business School. Department BUTO – Business Technology & Operation

Research Group MOBI – Mobility, Logistics and Automotive Technology, Brussels


Future trends II – New mobility concepts and (European) law

“MyCorridor EU-funded project on MaaS”,

05 Carlo Giro part 1 05 Carlo Giro part 2, Policy Officer, IRU Projects, Brussels.


After the decision by the EU Court of Justice – What’s next?

06 Pieter-Jan Aerts, Senior Associate, Olislaegers & De Creus | Awerian, Brussels


“Legal challenges from the German perspective”,

07 Herwig Kollar, Board member German Taxi & Private Hire Association (BZP).


“The taxi and PHV industry from mytaxi’s perspective”,

08 Claudia Breure, Head of Public Affairs, Europe, mytaxi


“Lessons for the future of the taxi and PHV industry”,

09 Mike Galvin, COO Karhoo, London.


Future trends III – Eco-friendly concepts.


“Taxis4SmartCities – The results sofar.”

11 Yann Ricordel, Chairman of Taxis4SmartCities/Taxis G7, Paris.


“Eco-mobility in practice – an economic option?” The Amsterdam Experience

12 Gamis el Bouakili, managing director Schipholtaxi, Amsterdam


“Part of a tradition, and specifically designed for London’s ULEZ: LEVC’s TX.

13 Albert Donlou, managing director Green Roads, Rotterdam


“Made for micro-transit and the urban environment: The E-Jest midibus.”

14 Halit Ozgur Altinsoy, Business Development and Projects Engineer Karsan, Istanbul


Special guests: Future Trends III, the Russian Experience

“The future of taxi regulation in Russia,”

15 Irina Zaripova part 1  15 Irina Zaripova part 2, Director of the Public Council for the Development of Taxi in Russia, Moscow

Tomorrow’s regulation – Different views

“New forms of mobility for London and new regulation.”

17 Simon Buggey, Policy Officer, Transport for London.


“London taxis, London’s main carrier.”

Steve McNamara, General Secretary Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA).


“The Dutch Experience – From Amsterdam to Eindhoven.”

19 Hein Maas, Independent government advisor, Vught.