Leaders from London’s biggest black cab association have responded to the recent TfL decision to pay tube drivers an Olympic bonus by proposing their own ‘bonus’ in the form of a 15-20% fare increase during the Olympics.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association has sent a proposal to TfL asking to charge the premium evening fare in the daytime for the entire period that the Olympics and the Paralympics are taking place to compensate for the inconvenience of driving on traffic-filled streets.
The LTDA’ s Bob Oddy said: “The chief issue is that a significant number of members have expressed concern that problems may arise in the Olympics. A lot have indicated they may take summer holidays during the Games. There’s going to be high demand and we feel that one of the ways of encouraging drivers would be for TfL to consider providing an incentive to work by offering enhanced tariffs.”
He further defended the request by adding that 40% of his members are currently considering going on summer break during the Olympics: “If we get 40% of cabs off the road, I’m afraid the average passenger won’t get a cab at any price. They won’t be there.”
TfL’s John Mason responded by stating that “At the LTDA’s request the proposal has been included in the annual public taxi fare consultation. The consultation is ongoing and no decision has been made. It’s for the TfL board to approve a proposal or changes to taxi.” TfL has until February to make a decision.
Londonist sumarised the Olympics situation very well: “Every Olympics has its scare-story in the build up – Athens: will the stadia be ready on time? Beijing: will the pollution affect the athletes? – and it looks like traffic and transport is going to be ours.”
Do you think black cab drivers should be able to increase their rates, or, like The Evening Standard, do you think it will harm London’s image as a tourist destination?