Yesterday, London’s award-winning licensed minicab app Kabbee, submitted an industry white paper to Transport for London (TfL) on behalf of London’s leading minicab fleets, requesting support to prepare for the introduction of Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), in order to comply with the standards in 2018.*
The white paper presents key recommendations in response to TfL’s planned introduction of ULEZ in London, which were the result of a roundtable discussion between key private hire and taxi industry stakeholders, hosted by Kabbee earlier this year.
Kabbee has urged TfL to consider the following key recommendations before they publish the final ULEZ proposals later this month:
- A phased approach – The transition for fleets to become ULEZ-ready is not physically possible and should be phased over a 2-year period.
- Improved charging infrastructure – Existing charging infrastructure in London is not yet sufficient for the recharge of London’s existing electric vehicles, so this must be in place to encourage stakeholders to buy a green vehicle.
- Government support and subsidisation – There must be clear support and subsidisation options made available to all minicab and black cab operators.
- A dedicated ULEZ communication hub – A TfL-owned regularly updated communication channel for all stakeholders affected by London’s ULEZ should be made available.
- Improved green vehicle innovation and supply – Supply of green vehicles is not currently sufficient to respond to the demands created by the ULEZ – more innovation and better supply of green vehicles is imminent.
A steering group of 10 representative medium-to-large sized minicab firms that have between 50 – 500 cars, expect TfL to respond to the recommendations, to make the concept of cleaner air in the city a reality, rather than a money-making campaign. The London-based fleets include Airport Direct, Greater London Cars, Falcon Cars, Hummingbird Cars, Driven A to B, 247 Airport Transfer, The Keen Group, Metro Express, Airports Carriage and Cheetah Cars.
Justin Peters, Kabbee Founder and CEO comments on the findings: “The ULEZ scheme will become an essential part in making the capital’s air cleaner and improving the quality of life for Londoners, and we understand that TfL is working extremely hard to make this happen.
“As an aggregator of over 60 fleets, Kabbee has been helping to improve London’s cab industry since inception in 2011. It is our mission to ‘Make Minicabs Mighty’, and that’s why we are intervening to challenge TfL’s cliff-edge deadlines, which will result in minicab fleets paying to enter London – as cost that will be passed on to the consumer.
“If TfL is serious about reducing emissions over generating income via the ULEZ tax, they will consider our white paper recommendations and make these necessary changes with immediate effect.”
Sean McGrath, Managing Director at Airport Direct, comments on the ULEZ recommendations: “The introduction of ULEZ is much easier for black cab owners than minicab fleets. Each black cab driver is responsible for one vehicle and the green upgrade options are clear and achievable, due to economies of scale.
“Minicab fleets often employ the services of 50-100 independent drivers who each have different budgets or existing lease agreements on their vehicles. To attempt to help each driver get ready in time for 2018 would be extremely difficult.”
The full white paper can be viewed on the Kabbee blog here.
*It is proposed that from January 2018, all newly manufactured vehicles (under 18 months old) presented for licensing as PHVs must be ‘zero emission capable’. Other vehicles presented for licensing as PHVs must comply as a minimum with the ULEZ standards and also continue to meet the 10 year age limit. The PHV requirement will apply London-wide as well as in the ULEZ.
Every PHV driving in the ULEZ will be required to meet the ULEZ standards or a daily charge (similar to other cars, vans etc) must be paid.