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The Taxi News for Thursday August 14, 2014

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Conn. man sentenced to three years in prison in fatal Myrtle Beach taxi cab crash

The Island Packet - (Bluffton, South Carolina)

By Tonya Root
August 13, 2014

A Connecticut man was sentenced to serve three and a half years in prison and pay $6,000 in restitution after he pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with a fatal crash involving a taxi driver in Myrtle Beach, according to authorities.

Jomo Robert Foley, 43, of Waterbury, Conn., pleaded guilty to hit and run, duties of a driver involved in an accident with death and was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Paul M. Burch, according to court records.

Burch sentenced Foley to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, but suspended that sentence upon Foley’s completion of three and a half years in prison, $6,0000 restitution and three and half years on probation, court records showed. Foley’s probation will be terminated after he pays restitution and serves 18 months.

Foley also was ordered to complete substance abuse counseling, undergo random drug and alcohol testing and pay court costs, according to records. - more....


Confessions of a lady cab driver

City Pages - (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Twin Cities-based cabbie Chey Eisenman talks death and taxis and everything in between

By Chey Eisenman Wednesday, Aug 13 2014

A woman slipped into the backseat of my cab, sobbing. Since I am, as a general rule, uncomfortable around tears, I wanted her to stop.

"The rule in my taxi is that if you're going to cry, you must share the story behind the tears," I told her, expecting the typical "my boyfriend/girlfriend dumped me" or "I lost my job."

Instead: "My daughter drowned a few days ago. And tonight I came home to find my husband on top of our neighbor."

The cab fell silent, as if all the air had been sucked out. As she spoke, the tears stopped and her speech became flat and void of emotion.

The pressure pushed me to say something, anything, to break the silence. But what do you say to something like that? Tears began to creep into the corners of my eyes.

As I dropped her off at a motel, I thought about the story she shared: a woman baring her soul about (I hope) the worst thing that will happen to her. What would compel someone to share something so raw and intimate with a complete stranger?

But I already knew. Cab drivers are the nomadic priests of the streets, hauling people from every walk of life, listening to their confessions. We offer no absolution, no penance, only a listening ear.

We see the best and worst of humanity. - more....


Uber ride-sharing drivers are breaking the law in Vancouver, city attorney says

The Oregonian - (Portland, Oregon)

By Joseph Rose
on August 13, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Maybe Uber is illegal in Vancouver after all.

As The Oregonian reported last month, Vancouver a few years ago jettisoned a city code specifically prohibiting residents from using personal cars as de facto taxis. As a result, Uber's ride-sharing service essentially sneaked into Portland's largest suburb without feeling the need to say as much as a "hello" to City Hall.

But that doesn't mean that local drivers being hailed by riders using Ubder's smartphone app are making a legal living, according to a recent memo from the city attorney's office. (PDF)

For all intents and purposes, a cut-rate ride provided by an UberX driver – someone who uses his or her private vehicle to pick up fares on an independent contract with the San Francisco company -- "is still a taxi ride" under Vancouver law, wrote Brent Boger, assistant city attorney.

On the other side of the Columbia River, strict ordinances designed to protect the taxi industry from competition have made Portland the largest U.S. city without Uber or its chief competitor, Lyft. Portland Commissioner Steve Novick has said the city is just starting to examine ways to let ride-sharing operate within its borders.

Currently, Vancouver city code defines a taxi service as a ride with a destination controlled by a customer and a fare is dictated specifically by a contract rate or a physical meter. - more....


Cab hailing app GetTaxi gets $150M to take on Uber

VentureBeat - (Internet)

August 13, 2014 7:04 AM
Ruth Reader

Tired of the Uber and Lyft drama? There’s another taxi app you should be paying attention to.

GetTaxi, also known as Gett, just announced a big $150M funding round, reports Israeli news site Globes. The announcement comes two months after competing service Uber raised $1.2 billion in funding.

Taxi hailing is the hot new venture. Much of the attention has centered on the drama between Uber and Lyft, and possible attempts at sabotage. Uber employees have been reportedly scheduling car rides with other services like Lyft and Gett, then canceling them. Gett has taken something of a back seat to all the publicity — at least here in the U.S. - more....


Uber said to be working on universal app integration

The Drum - (Internet)

Taxi app Uber is reportedly close to introducing a universal ‘request a Ride’ button for incorporation into third party apps via a public API, according to reports on TechCrunch.

Such an interface would allow anyone to install an Uber link in their products with the service already said to have opened talks with Facebook about linking with their Messenger app.

Google Map users who have downloaded Uber can now access a ‘Get an Uber’ button as a public transport option, calculating the time and distance and linking directly to the Uber app from where the cab can be booked.

By eliminating the faff involved in hiring a cab by streamlining the number of clicks Uber hopes to drive ever more people to rely on the service.

Mulling the potential opportunities of such a move Josh Constine of TechCrunch said: “Maybe Yelp, Foursquare, or OpenTable could let you book a one-tap ride to a restaurant. Travel apps like HotelTonight could offer an instant Uber to your bed. Navigation apps like Waze, Bing Maps, and Yahoo Maps could get integrations just like Google Maps. Even social apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp could let you hail a ride to an address you’re discussing.”

Uber has declined to comment on the speculation.



Europe, Africa, and the Middle East


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Asia and the Pacific

Kolkata taxi drivers call off strike

Zee News - (India)

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 22:05
 
Kolkata: After holding the people to ransom for two days, a strike call by the taxi drivers in the city was on Wednesday called off following a meeting with West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra.

"We have decided to call-off the strike as the minister promised to look into our demands," INTUC leader Ramen Pandey, who represented the city's taxi drivers, said.

"We basically have three demands - one is increase in fare, night charges of 25 per cent above the fare and thirdly cases against 22 taxi drivers be dropped unconditionally," Pandey said.

"Mitra said he would look into the legality of dropping the cases against the drivers and let us know in three to four days," he added. - more....


London-style taxi hits the streets of Melbourne

The Age - (Melbourne, Australia)

Date August 13, 2014 - 6:06PM
Larissa Nicholson
Reporter

London-style taxis look set to become a part of Melbourne’s streetscape, after a test vehicle began touring the city on Wednesday.

The London Taxi Company has already put a fleet of its purpose-built cabs on trial in Perth and hopes to start a 100-car trial in Victoria by the end of the year. In the meantime, the company is test-driving one of its new models on the streets of Melbourne.

The grey cab, with the distinctive London-style shape, seats six people and has a wall to separate the driver from four passengers in the back seat.

Evan Simeon, CEO of the company in Australia, said the new taxi had been adapted for Australian conditions, with a stronger airconditioner and better radiator to deal with the heat.

“Australia has a lot harsher roads and harsher conditions [than London],” he said. - more....


ComfortDelGro Q2 revenue crosses billion-dollar mark for first time

Today - (Singapore)

By
Linette Lim
Published: 9:29 PM, August 13, 2014

SINGAPORE — ComfortDelGro has reported a 9.9 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit to S$75.7 million. Revenue for the three months ended June grew 11.9 per cent on-year to S$1.02 billion — crossing the S$1 billion mark for the first time.

The land transport group said the growth was broad-based, with overseas revenue accounting for more than 40 per cent of overall revenue, and half of the group’s operating profit. Revenue growth was also boosted by positive foreign currency translation of S$10.4 million.

In Singapore, bus operations revenue from SBS Transit rose 10.2 per cent to S$191.9 million, due to higher fares and ridership. - more....


Here's An Epic Rant By The Cabcharge CEO On The Digital Disruption In Australia's Taxi Industry

Business Insider - (New York City, New York)

Peter Terlato Aug 13, 2014, 2:54 PM

Cabcharge CEO Andrew Skelton has highlighted major concerns with Australia’s fast-growing taxi industry in regards to insurance, regulation, legality and accountability.

Following the news that Uber has expanded its Australian app-friendly business into the closely guarded and lucrative corporate market – releasing a shareable company account for corporate employees – Skelton told Business Insider Australia that Cabcharge-related apps were available “long before the so called ‘innovators’ arrived”.

Here’s his statement in full (with our highlights added): - more....


Uber’s Taxi App Lands in Jakarta

Jakarta Globe - (Jakarta, Indonesia)

By Vanesha Manuturi on 08:06 pm Aug 13, 2014

Jakarta. Traditional taxi companies in Indonesia may soon face a big shift in the market, as new competition from smartphone-based transportation services like San Francisco’s Uber taps into the insatiable demand for transportation in the world’s fourth-most populated country.

Uber — a software company focusing on transportation services — officially launched its eponymous smartphone application into Indonesia on Wednesday, gunning for the growing middle class population in the capital city Jakarta.

The company, which has established its presence in 43 countries worldwide, had previously arranged a soft launching in Jakarta earlier in June and rolled out its service in the Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD).

“There are currently tens of thousands people who have signed up for Uber. That’s what’s exciting about Jakarta — things go viral very easily,” said Chan Park, Uber’s head of expansion for the Asia-Pacific region, to the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.

The Uber app assists Indonesian commuters in finding transportation — private driver included ­— through its partnerships with local limo and car rentals, offering brands ranging from Toyota Camry to Hyundai Sonata.

Its base fare currently stands at Rp 7,000 (60 cents), with each additional minute costing Rp 500 and each kilometer Rp 2,850 — placing Uber at par with local taxis.

“You can think of [Uber] like Expedia,” said Park, referring to a travel booking website. “We’ll facilitate the transactions and that transportation experience by connecting driver and transportation provider with the rider, and we provide the app that enables that.”

Uber will be jumping into a competitive market that’s already filled with various public transportation options for the Indonesian middle class, such as taxis and ojeks , or motorcycle taxis. - more....



Ender Wiggin


Updated aug 13 @ 18:51 GMT

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