My name is Hassan, a black cab driver.
Myself and a friend have written an article about the choice of drivers for the customers and explaining the differences between all types of drivers.
I believe the only way to get around this unfair competition is to educate people and inform them about the black cab in london ( which 90% of them don’t have a clue ) and then let them choose
Do you think you will be interested to pub the article on your blog ?
BLACK CAB ARTICLE
We all know that the customer has the right to make an informed choice over public transport options. Let me make your choice easier and clearer.
It takes two days to learn how to use a satellite navigator and be a mini cab driver. Yet with this method, which is reliant on the navigator solely, the mini cab driver is not able to mentally challenge the proposed route in any way and choose the most effective route for the customer.
It takes between 4-6 years to become a fully licensed black cab driver. This entails learning “The Knowledge”, which is unique to London and famous worldwide. It includes the learning of in excess of 60,000 streets and all the road networks within the extensive London suburbs.
In reality this means driving a bike for 2 years; attending taxi school for 3 years ideally; learning in addition all the restrictions within an infrastructure pickled with one-way systems; official points of interest; as well as the hard won skill of anticipating road congestion and short-cuts.
During this long period of study black cab drivers-to-be have to make “appearances”, which amount to the toughest of oral exams in which they are ruthlessly tested for all the above as well as their personal manner and interpersonal abilities, the general driving license road knowledge and a special detailed exam to acquire the necessary disabled wheel chair license.
By contrast, a mini cab driver has none of these onerous obligations and may use any car in any condition so long as it meets the criteria of being less than 8 years old and the MOT regulations are met with once a year. The cost may vary between £1,000 and £30,000.
The fully licensed and professional black cab driver may only use a specified official London black cab, especially designed for transporting passengers only, with extra options for disabled customers and their wheelchairs, a large space for passenger comfort and an MOT requirement that is 6 monthly. The authenticity of the driver and his official badge are also checked rigorously too within this period. The cost of a black cab may vary between £15,000 and £40,000.
The black cab driver is specifically trained to get the customer to a destination in the most efficient, effective and trouble-free way possible. The mini-cab driver by comparison has no such knowledge or tailored training to call upon whatsoever and will be reliant entirely on his SatNav technology. The reality of this is that said driver will, inevitably, have his eye well off traffic considerations and be intent on his computer screen. Such methods are dangerous as well as unreliable, resulting in a significant number of reported accidents at a serious level, with mini-cab drivers tearing up wrong way streets in the wrong direction, for example.
In addition, the private mini-cab will decide the customer’s fare. The black cab driver has to use a fully inspected meter that is licensed by London taxis (Hackney Carriages) under the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869. Section 9 of this Act allows them to make regulations which fix the rates or fares to be paid. The London Cab and Stage Carriage Act 1907 allows the fixing of fares to be paid for the hire of taxis fitted with taxi-meters, on the basis of time or distance or both.
We all understand that if the customer lives in an area where it is difficult to get a taxi , he has no other option but to call a mini cab, but what I can not understand is why does he have to choose that option and wait for a mini cab to arrive when he can get a black cab in a few minutes , like for example in the areas of , mayfair , Belgravia , Knightsbridge , Kensington , oxford street , soho , coven gardens, or anywhere in the central london when black cabs works mainly .
As we are all humans , we can not avoid making mistakes , but a black cab will recognise it and rectify it , and in most cases he will compensate that in the fare to keep the customers happy. When it comes to other drivers they are not aware of their mistakes simply because they are following a sat nav that (”never goes wrong way ”). And the customer ends up paying for their mistakes .
Lastly, but not least, London’s black cabs are part of the rich cultural tapestry which draws many tourists to London, without which our national cultural identity in London is seriously diluted. Tourists visit London in droves, parting with their money, expecting to see Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, the famous red London buses and the very famous black cabs. They are an integral part of our heritage which we need to value and retain.
For more information, kindly Google “London Taxi Knowledge”!
The choice is yours!
Hassan and phillip