• Can Public Transit Survive the Pandemic?

    Unvorstellbar in Deutschland, normal im angelsächsischen Neoliberalismus: Der ÖPNV geht pleite. Londons U-Bahn und Bussystem wirdt zu 75% mit Fahrgeld bezahlt, dazu kommen Einnahmen aus Vermietung und verschiedenen Geschäften. ÖPNV als staatliche Angelegenheit im Sinne aller gibt es nicht. Entsprechend klein ist der Anteil der Öffentlichen Hand an der Finanzierung des ÖPNV in der 9-Millionen-Metropole. Der neue Tube-Chef Andy Byford kämpft darum, dies zu ändern. Anderenfalls sieht er eine Abwärtsspirale bei Taktzeiten, Linien und Qualität kommen. Die kurzsichtig auf Profit und Cashflow orientierte liberale Ideologie gefährdet die Zukunft Londons.

    London’s New Transport Commissioner Wants You to Believe It Can

    2.4.2020. by Ciara Nugent/London - Andy Byford was feeling guilty.

    It was March 2020, and he had just left his job as head of the New York City Transit Authority, after Governor Andrew Cuomo moved him off a massive revamp of the ailing subways. Stuck in his English hometown of Plymouth because of pandemic travel restrictions, he sat feeling “frustrated and impotent” as COVID-19 decimated ridership and revenues in public transit in New York and around the world. “Had I known the full horror of what was to emerge,” Byford, 55, says grimly, “I would have put my resignation on hold and stayed to see New York City transit through the crisis.” He even reached out to the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and offered to come back, he says.

    But Byford, one of the world’s most respected transport leaders, didn’t have to go back across the pond to find a transit system that needed his help. In June 2020, he took over as commissioner of Transport for London (TfL), the agency responsible for the city’s public transit. On a chilly mid-December afternoon, a 3 p.m. sunset already dulling the blue over the British capital’s skyline, Byford sits straight-backed in a glass-paneled meeting room at TfL’s headquarters and lays out the “sobering” state of the system. TfL’s sprawling network of underground or “tube” trains—the world’s oldest—lost 95% of its passengers in the first lockdown of spring 2020, and buses, boats and overground trains fared little better, hemorrhaging around £80 million ($110 million) a week during the strictest periods of lockdown. As the city lurched in and out of restrictions, tube ridership never climbed above 35% of 2019 levels.

    The pandemic has not only caused an immediate fall in ticket revenues for the world’s public transit networks—rail ridership in Barcelona, Moscow, Beijing and New York City at times plummeting 80%—in some cities it also has thrown into question the future of mass urban transportation. Like the sleek 11-story building where Byford was one of a handful of employees not working from home this winter, offices from San Francisco to Hong Kong sit mostly empty. Major companies contemplate a shift to remote work, and city residents consider moves out of the crowded, polluted urban centers that have made lockdowns more unpleasant. Fears of sharing confined spaces with strangers have fueled soaring demand for used cars in Mexico, India and Europe. A U.K. survey found attitudes toward public transit had been set back by two decades, with only 43% of drivers open to using their car less, even if public transport improves.

    The implications reach beyond Byford’s industry. If people move from mass transit to cars, government targets on reducing emissions to fight climate change will move out of reach. Low-income communities and essential workers will be stuck with poorly funded or bankrupt systems as the wealthy move in cars or stay home. Economies will slow as it becomes more difficult for workers, consumers and businesses to reach one another. “Transportation policy is climate policy, economic policy and equity policy,” says Janette Sadik-Khan, who served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Restoring transit to full strength and investing in its future has to be viewed with the same urgency as restoring water or power lines after a national natural disaster.”

    Byford is trying to persuade the U.K. to do just that. His relentless chipperness and nerdish fascination with intervals between train arrivals belie his success as a shrewd political negotiator. Resisting what he calls “the unsophisticated knee-jerk reaction” of service cuts, he has helped secure more than £3 billion in funding packages to keep TfL running. But he says ensuring cities have the transit systems they need in five years requires more than just stopgap crisis solutions. Byford is pushing for new innovations during the pandemic, an overhaul of TfL’s funding model and a longer-term multibillion-dollar government-support deal. “My message to our leaders is: Don’t see transit as part of the problem,” he says. “It’s part of the pathway out of the pandemic.” If he can set London on that path, he’ll give city leaders around the world a road map to follow.

    As a teenager growing up in Plymouth, a coastal city home to the largest naval base in Western Europe, Byford had thought he might join the navy. In the end, after leaving university, he brought his efficiency and leadership skills straight to TfL, working as a tube-station foreman. It was something of a family business: his father had worked there, and his grandfather had driven a bus for 40 years, including through the Blitz when German bombs pounded London in World War II. But he was mostly drawn, he says earnestly, by “the buzz of operations, never knowing what the next day will bring” and “a passion for customer service.”

    Byford sees himself as “naturally gregarious.” That quality—exercised in regular trips around TfL’s network to meet Londoners—has powered him through a career in the often thankless task of being the face of city transit systems. After leaving TfL and working on England’s railways in the 2000s, he took over the trains in Sydney. He speaks cornily about fostering “team spirit” and his love of going for a pint with colleagues on a Friday, prepandemic. But he doesn’t suffer fools. While overhauling Toronto’s failing transport commission from 2012 to 2017, he fired the manager of a line-extension project that had dragged on too long and replaced the team himself. At the MTA, he became known for his hands-on attitude, earning the nickname Train Daddy among fans and on social media. Though Byford cut his time in New York short, leaving his “Fast Forward” plan to remake subway signaling, bus routes and station access in his successor’s hands, transit experts hailed him for putting a previously hopeless system on the right path. “Andy’s attitude and his messaging were great, certainly refreshing for our political atmosphere; it was almost more than we deserve,” Sadik-Khan says. “He really restored New Yorkers’ confidence in transit. And that’s a tough hill to climb.”

    Byford’s tenure in London is off to a less glamorous start. He contrasts his arrival at TfL last summer with his first day in New York City in 2018, when he was swarmed by a crowd of reporters at Manhattan’s Bowling Green station, excited to meet the Brit who had come to fix the subways. In pandemic London, there was no welcoming committee. “I just sort of wandered in and told reception who I was,” he says. A gigantic flag that he had commissioned for his MTA office, celebrating his hometown soccer team Plymouth Argyle, now hangs slightly cramped in a small side room at TfL.

    But the scale of his task in London, overseeing 9,000 buses and 250 miles of underground tracks as well as overground rail, cycling, taxis, boats, roads, bridges and tunnels across London’s 600 sq. mi., dwarfs his previous jobs. He must also grapple with TfL’s unique vulnerability to falls in ridership, which on the underground last year reached its lowest level since the 19th century. The network relies on ticket revenue for 72% of its operating income, far higher than the 30%-to-50% norm in major Western transit systems. The rest of TfL’s cash flow comes mostly from road-compliance charges, such as a congestion charge on cars, commercial activities like renting out properties, city taxes and local government grants. Prepandemic, TfL hadn’t received U.K. government funding for operations since 2018, Byford points out proudly.

    Some cities have responded to the loss of passengers with service cuts, including Paris, where authorities cut metro and train service by 10% on most lines this March. In New York, the MTA cut service on two lines by 20% last spring, but the agency has avoided the swinging 40% to 50% service cuts it warned of in late 2020, thanks to federal relief funds. In London, TfL has maintained near normal service throughout the pandemic. Byford says he’s determined to resist “the siren voices that say we should mothball lines, defer maintenance, get rid of capacity in order to achieve a short-term financial objective. Cutting service leads to just a downward spiral.”

    That downward spiral is well documented in cities like Washington, D.C., where deferred maintenance and underinvestment in the 2000s have led to long safety shutdowns. When service becomes more irregular, people who can afford the expense will increasingly drive, take cabs or stop traveling in the city altogether. Ridership continues to fall, so revenue falls, and service and maintenance are cut further. “You end up creating a kind of transit underclass of people who have no other option and are still dependent on a lower-quality offering,” says Yingling Fan, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Minnesota. “Mass transit only works if it has the mass.”

    Keeping the “mass” right now requires support. Byford and Mayor Sadiq Khan negotiated bailouts of £1.6 billion in May and £1.8 billion in October. The deals had to overcome strained relationships between the mayor, who is part of the opposition Labour Party, and the right-wing Conservative government, which has pledged to prioritize other regions in the pandemic recovery. In exchange, Khan agreed to raise city taxes and make £160 million worth of cuts to TfL, mostly in the back office. Two long-term rail-expansion projects have been mothballed.

    But Byford prevented two threatened cuts that he says epitomized the short-term thinking that kills public transit: first, planned signaling updates for the busy Piccadilly line that runs all the way from Heathrow Airport to Piccadilly Circus and beyond; second, the Elizabeth line. The largest rail project in Europe, it will connect eastern and western towns with Central London, adding a full 10% to the network’s capacity. Delayed from its original 2018 completion date, and with some £18 billion already spent, the line narrowly avoided being shelved in November after the U.K. government refused to provide a final £1.1 billion TfL asked for to complete the project. The city agreed to take £825 million as a loan and find a way to deliver the line with that. Byford promises “no more slippage” on the new opening date of 2022.

    Byford is now negotiating with the government on his demand for £3 billion to cover operating costs in 2021 and 2022, and a further £1.6 billion a year until 2030 to allow TfL to reduce its dependence on fares by growing other revenue streams, like its housing division, and make long-term improvements. He argues that TfL is an essential motor of the green recovery that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised. For example, Byford wants to “expedite” the electrification of London’s massive bus fleet, which might compel manufacturers to set up a production line.

    Most urgently, the money is needed to keep the city that provides 23% of U.K. GDP moving. In New York, a study by the NYU Rudin Center found that steep MTA cuts would trigger an annual GDP loss of up to $65 billion. “You can’t just turn public transport on at the drop of a hat,” Byford says, citing the need for continued maintenance and ongoing scaling up of capacity. “You’ve got to keep planning, you’ve got to keep asking: What will the city’s needs be in the future?”

    The pandemic has made that question much harder to answer. London’s population is set to decline in 2021 for the first time in three decades, losing up to 300,000 of its 9 million people, according to a January report by accountancy firm PwC. It’s too soon to say if that’s the start of a long-term postpandemic trend. But even if the population remains stable, a mass shift to home work, predicted by some, would have “enormous implications for the future of public transit use,” says Brian Taylor, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA, “because transit’s ability to move a lot of people in the same direction at the same time is its [big advantage over] cars.”

    And a long-term shift from transit to car use in densely packed cities would cause major headaches for city leaders. In New York City, where the number of newly registered vehicles from August to October was 37% higher than in the same period in 2019 across four of the five boroughs, residents compare the fight for parking spaces to The Hunger Games.

    Byford rejects the idea “that mass travel to offices is a thing of the past, or that Central London is going to become some sort of tourist attraction preserved in aspic.” In a “realistic” scenario, he expects TfL ridership to recover to 80% of 2019 levels in the medium term. That still adds up to around £1 billion a year in lost revenue, he says, meaning TfL will have to restructure to make savings and potentially redesign bus routes and some service frequency based on how people are using the city. “But there’s still a lot of things we can do, in public policy and in TfL, to convince people not to get back in their cars,” he says. “My job is to make public transport the irresistible option.”

    The crisis facing public transit over the next few years poses a grim threat to cities, at least in the short term. But city leaders also see hope for the long term in the global reckoning with the status quo that the disruption of COVID-19 has triggered. Many are considering how to use the lessons of this time to positively reshape cities for the postpandemic era. And the loser is cars. From Berlin to Oakland, Calif., roads have been blocked to create miles of new cycle paths, sidewalks have been widened and new plazas created. The “renaissance of innovation” that has occurred over the past year will accelerate cities’ transition to a more sustainable, low-emissions way of life, says Sadik-Khan, whose tenure in New York City was marked by the creation of hundreds of miles of bike lanes.

    In London, as well as widened sidewalks and the creation of new low-traffic neighborhoods, Byford and Khan are making it increasingly expensive to drive in London. Since its introduction in 2003, the city’s congestion charge, a daily levy on cars driving in the city center, has helped cut congestion there by a quarter in three years, and, with support from both right- and left-wing local governments, it has become a model for cities wary of the political risk of upsetting drivers. In June, the city increased the daily charge to $21, from $16, and expanded its hours of operation, for now on a temporary basis. In October, the “ultra-low emissions zone,” which since 2019 has charged more polluting vehicles $17 a day in Central London, will expand to cover a much larger area. And Mayor Khan is considering a new toll for drivers who come in from outside the city. For Byford, who has never owned a car, it’s promising. “The mayor’s goal has always been to increase the percentage of people using public transit, walking or cycling to 80% by 2041,” he says. “Before, that was seen as ambitious. I think we can definitely do that now.”

    The postpandemic moment could potentially be a turning point. “Many are arguing this pause could give us an opportunity to reallocate street space, to reconsider how much curb space we devote to the storage of people’s private property, which cars are,” says Taylor. If cities manage to improve public transit and phase out car use on their streets, in a few years they won’t just have less pollution and lower greenhouse-gas emissions. Streets will be safer and more pleasant to walk through, increasing footfall for retail and hospitality sectors. Businesses will have more flexibility to set up stalls or outdoor seating. Curbs can be redesigned to be more accessible for the disabled. It all depends on the decisions city leaders take now to “intelligently manage automobiles” and protect public transit, Taylor says.

    It may be hard to knock the car off its pedestal in the U.S. Many of its cities were designed around the automobile, and analysts say U.S. policymakers tend to treat public transit as part of the welfare system, rather than as an essential utility as it is considered in Europe and Asia. After the 2008 recession, U.S. transit agencies were forced to make cuts so deep that some had not recovered before the pandemic.

    But transit leaders see some signs of the political support transit needs to survive and thrive. On Feb. 8, the U.S. Congress approved an additional $30 billion for public transit agencies, softening the blow from the $39 billion shortfall predicted by the American Public Transportation Association. And Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who spearheaded controversial initiatives to reduce car use as mayor of South Bend, Ind., told his Senate confirmation hearing that the current moment offers a “generational opportunity to transform and improve America’s infrastructure.”

    Global transport is undergoing a transformation, despite the pressures of the pandemic. The market for low-emissions electric buses is thriving, with cities from Bogotá to Delhi ordering hundreds of units over the past year. Transit agencies, including TfL, are partnering with delivery companies to make the “last mile” of trips more efficient. Meanwhile, urban-planning concepts like the “15-Minute City,” championed by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, are scaling back the need for long commutes and unnecessary journeys.

    Fast Forward, Byford’s attempt to transform New York City’s transit, is “somewhat on hold at the moment,” he says. But he urges his former colleagues not to allow the pandemic to wipe out their ambition. “That plan will ultimately serve New York well, and it should not be left on the shelf,” he says. Byford is unlikely to return anytime soon, though. He says he doesn’t miss the complexity of being answerable to both city and state governments, and he loves working with a “very enlightened” mayor in Khan. Pointedly omitting leadership in New York, he adds that he also had “excellent relationships” with two successive mayors in Toronto, the premier of Ontario and the minister of transport in New South Wales.

    Hard as it may be for some New Yorkers to believe, what Byford does miss about his old job these days, as he roams TfL’s quiet trains to monitor the network, is riding the subway. “It’s like a different world underground,” he says, recalling the entertainers and “the kaleidoscope of experiences” he would witness. “In London, people don’t tend to look at each other on the tube, let alone speak. I’m back into being my more reserved British self.”

    #London #Verkehr #Nahverkehr #U-Bahn #covid-19 #Stadtplanung #ÖPNV

  • Matthew Crawford „Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti5pouTlOjg

    Der Mann sagt wahre Worte zu Uber, Londoner Taxifahrern und den Sinn des Autofahrens. Es lohnt sich, die Stunde abzuuzwacken, und ihm zu lauschen. Für weniger des Englischen Kundige bietet Youtube Untertitel mit automatischer Übersetzung.

    Matthew Crawford is a senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Culture at the University of Virginia. After majoring in physics as an undergraduate at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he earned his PhD in political philosophy from the University of Chicago. He is the author of Shop Class as Soul Craft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (2009) and The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in the Age of Distraction (2015). His latest book is Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road (2020). This event receives support from Menard, Inc. and from the Jack Miller Center through a grant from the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.

    More about Matthew Crawford

    #Verkehr #Uber #disruption #London #Taxi

  • Colonial Histories | Open House London 2020

    All buildings tell stories. Stories about the values and aspirations of the societies which created them are etched into the facades of our streets. Yet some stories are harder to read than others. Hidden beneath the surface of many buildings in London are incredible and sometimes bitter stories of Britain’s colonial history. For Open House 2020, we’re embarking on a long term project to tease out and reveal the hidden colonial histories of the architecture we celebrate in the festival.

    #Londres #London #balade_décoloniale #colonialisme #esclavagisme

  • London Statues and the History of Empire

    All stages of colonial history can be traced through statues in our care, beginning with the earliest days of European colonialism, with Christopher Columbus (Belgrave Square), through the centuries of British expansionism and the creation of its Empire – personified by Sir Walter Ralegh (Greenwich) and Robert Clive (King Charles Street). They then mark Britain’s imperial wars of the 19th century, with Lord Napier of Magdala (Queen’s Gate) and General Gordon (Victoria Embankment), and the Empire’s final phases, with Lord Curzon (Carlton House Terrace). The monarchs of the imperial centuries also appear: James II, William III, Queen Anne, George II, George III and Queen Charlotte, and Edward VII.


    #empire #colonialisme #esclavagisme #Londres #London #slave_trade #monument

  • 29.09.2020: #Uber erhält Lizenz für London zurück (Tageszeitung junge Welt)

    #London. Der US-amerikanische Fahrdienstvermittler Uber erhält seine Lizenz in Londen zurück. Das entschied der zuständige Richter Tan Ikram am Montag und erteilte dem Konzern die Erlaubnis, seine Autos wieder in der britischen Hauptstadt einzusetzen. Die dortige Verkehrsbehörde hatte Uber 2019 wegen einer Reihe von Fehlern die Lizenz entzogen. Im Mittelpunkt der Kritik stand neben Versicherungsfragen der Fakt, dass unbefugte Fahrer Gäste abgeholt hatten. (Reuters/jW)

  • „Katastrophe für London“: Uber bekommt neue Lizenz

    28. September 2020 von Wim Faber - Ein Londoner Gericht hat heute entschieden, dass Uber „kein Risiko mehr ist” und die abgelehnte Verlängerung der Lizenz wieder aufgehoben.

    Bereits im September 2017 hatte die Genehmigungsbehörde Transport for London (TfL) zum ersten Mal eine Lizenz verweigert, da Uber für den Betrieb in der Hauptstadt nicht “geeignet oder angemessen“ sei. Der Fahrtenvermittler hatte seinen Dienst trotzdem weiterhin angeboten und gegen den Genehmigungsentzug geklagt. Das Unternehmen argumentierte, dass es sich in den letzten Jahren grundlegend geändert habe. Damit erreichte man eine vorläufige, verkürzte Verlängerung im Berufungsverfahren, jedoch wurde im vergangenen November die Lizenz erneut wegen Identitätsproblemen verweigert. Natürlich legte man auch dagegen sofort Beschwerde ein und bot seinen Dienst weiterhin an.

    Vor der Anhörung hatte Jamie Heywood, Ubers regionaler Generaldirektor, seine Sicht der Dinge dargelegt: “Wir haben in den letzten Monaten hart daran gearbeitet, die Bedenken von TfL auszuräumen, Echtzeit-ID-Prüfungen für Fahrer eingeführt und uns dafür eingesetzt, dass sich die Menschen sicher in der Stadt bewegen.”

    Der stellvertretende Oberrichter Tan Ikram sagte, er habe „genügend Vertrauen, dass Uber London Ltd trotz früherer Mängel kein Risiko mehr für die öffentliche Sicherheit darstellt“. Zu dieser Einschätzung war er gelangt, nachdem er in einer dreitägigen Verhandlung diverse Anhörungen und Zeugenvernehmungen durchgeführt hatte.

    Damit hat man Uber nun genau jene ‘fit and proper’-Eigenschaft wieder zugesprochen, die vor einem Jahr noch angezweifelt worden war. Uber kann nun in der Britischen Hauptstadt weiterhin Mietwagendienste betreiben. Richter Ikram war zu der Überzeugung gelangt, Uber habe die Überprüfungsprozesse zur Bekämpfung von Dokumenten- und Versicherungsbetrug verschärft und stehe nun „an der Spitze der Bewältigung einer branchenweiten Herausforderung.“

    Die Vertreter der ‘black cabs’ zeigten sich in ersten Stellungnahmen empört und vertreten eine ganz andere Meinung. Sie hatten im Gerichtsverfahren viele Beweise für die Sicherheitsmängel der App geliefert. Zu den Sicherheitsbedenken zählte auch die Enthüllung der TfL, dass bis zu 14.000 Fahrten von Uber-Fahrgästen von nicht lizenzierten Fahrern durchgeführt worden waren, die sich betrügerisch mit den Identitätspapieren anderer Personen in der App angemeldet hatten.

    Steve McNamara, Generalsekretär der Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) bezeichnete die Entscheidung als “eine Katastrophe für London.” Er fügte hinzu: „Uber hat immer wieder gezeigt, dass es einfach nicht vertrauenswürdig ist, die Sicherheit der Londoner, ihrer Fahrer und anderer Verkehrsteilnehmer über den Gewinn zu stellen. Uber scheint zu groß zu sein, um effektiv und regulierend einzugreifen, aber wohl auch zu groß, um sie deshalb scheitern zu lassen.“

    McNamara hatte noch vor dem Gerichtsverfahren gemeint, dass “ein Leopard seine Flecken nicht verliert.” Die Gültigkeit der nächsten Lizenz von Uber und die auferlegten Bedingungen müssen später noch festgelegt werden.

    #Uber #London #Justiz

    • https://www.lavidaesunmus.com/product/deconstructive-surgery


      THE CHISEL « Deconstructive surgery » 7’

      Wahou, c’est du féroce ! Faut croire qu’avec toutes les merdes qui leur tombent sur le dos, les angliches sont sévèrement remontés, ces temps-ci ! Comme le dit leur label, ces gars mélangent allègrement le HardCore au punk UK82 avec un soupçon de Oi !, et du coup, bien entendu, ça fait un peu penser à Negative Approach. En fait, les titres rapides m’ont aussi rappelés N.O.T.A. et les plus lents ne sont pas si éloignés que ça des meilleurs groupes Oi ! du début. Vous l’avez compris, ça tabasse tout du long, c’est chanmé et agressif avec un son juste crade sur les bords comme il faut. Les paroles sont du même tonneau, ça cause de bastons, d’oppression de classe et de leur ville (Blackpool, si j’ai bien compris ?). Very good, indeed ! Le genre de #skeud idéal pour quand on a un petit coup de mou : ça requinque ! Et comme en plus les chansons sont bonnes et que ça ressemble pas non plus comme deux gouttes d’eau à des vieux groupes (même si j’en ai cité pour baliser un peu les choses), ben ça donne un EP 5 titres qui déchire bien comme il faut, carrément le haut de la poubelle punk actuelle. ’Nuff said.

      #punk #skins #london

  • #Belmonte_Calabro, come studenti e migranti hanno contribuito a ripopolare un borgo della Calabria: “Noi ora lo chiamiamo #Belmondo

    A Belmonte Calabro l’aria ha lo stesso profumo di quella di Madaripur, in Bangladesh. Se ne è accorto Rajib Hossain, 20 anni e un lungo viaggio alle spalle. Ha lasciato il suo Paese quattro anni fa, è in Italia da febbraio 2017. La prima volta a Belmonte ancora se la ricorda: “Mi guardai intorno, osservando il mare, e pensai che quello era il posto perfetto per godersi bene il mondo. L’aria era più dolce. Ho sentito gli stessi profumi di casa mia. Non mi era mai successo, da quando me ne ero andato”, racconta a ilfattoquotidiano.it. Per capire il percorso che ha portato lì Rajib bisogna fare un passo indietro.


    Arroccato su una collina che guarda il mare, Belmonte conta poco più di mille abitanti. Nel 2016 il suo centro storico rischia lo spopolamento: i telefoni non prendono la linea e la gente del posto preferisce vivere vicino alla marina, dove si trova la ferrovia. Per le strade non c’è quasi nessuno. Sembra un luogo destinato a essere dimenticato. Eppure, c’è ancora chi se lo ricorda: nello stesso anno Rita Adamo sta studiando architettura alla London Metropolitan University. Originaria di Potenza, ha passato le estati della sua infanzia proprio a Belmonte. Racconta a compagni e professori londinesi l’isolamento in cui sta cadendo il borgo storico: “Quella stessa estate abbiamo deciso di passare qualche giorno lì. Io conoscevo l’ex Convento dei Cappuccini, ora gestito da operatori culturali, e sapevo che potevamo soggiornarci”, racconta. “Era il periodo dei grandi sbarchi sulle coste italiane. Ad #Amantea, poco distante, c’è un centro di accoglienza migranti. Ci siamo rivolti a loro per sapere se qualcuno fosse interessato a passare del tempo con noi. Hanno accettato in dieci. Non ci era ancora chiaro cosa volessimo fare: all’inizio pensavamo a conoscerci e a conoscere meglio il posto, riscoprendo luoghi considerati vecchi. Io stessa non andavo a Belmonte da molto tempo e quell’anno sono tornata con una nuova coscienza”.

    In quell’occasione Rita e altri studenti fondano La #Rivoluzione-delle_Seppie, che si occupa di riattivare le aree calabresi a rischio spopolamento. È un inizio. Poco dopo l’università di Londra organizza una classe di ricerca: ogni anno, in novembre, un gruppo di studenti va in visita a Belmonte Calabro. “Restano una settimana. Entrano in contatto con la comunità di migranti, conoscono meglio il contesto locale. Ognuno di loro, mentre è sul posto, sceglie il luogo che lo ha colpito di più. Poi progetta strutture o edifici utili a incoraggiare l’inclusione sociale e a contrastare lo spopolamento”, continua Rita. Sono opere di studio, non vengono realizzate, precisa. Ma spesso servono da spunto.

    Il tempo passa e nasce #Crossings, il festival estivo che unisce sotto lo stesso ombrello diverse realtà: La Rivoluzione delle Seppie, il collettivo di architettura #Orizzontale, l’associazione culturale Ex Convento, la #London_Metropolitan_University, l’#Università_Mediterranea_di_Reggio_Calabria e il Centro di solidarietà “Il Delfino”. Protagonista Belmonte Calabro, sottratto all’isolamento di anni prima. Partecipa anche l’amministrazione comunale, con il proprio patrocinio.

    A ogni edizione seminari e workshop diversi, che richiamano l’attenzione di esperti e professionisti. Studenti di Londra e migranti partecipano agli incontri fianco a fianco. In inverno invece c’è un’altra spedizione: “L’Università londinese prevede che gli studenti di architettura vadano nelle campagne inglesi, ospiti di fattorie, a sperimentare materiali nuovi. Costruiscono strutture che poi smontano a esperimento concluso. Abbiamo deciso di organizzare la stessa cosa a Belmonte. Qui gli studenti possono realizzare strutture che poi rimarranno nel tempo, aiutati dal collettivo di architetti Orizzontale”, racconta Rita.

    Nel 2019 nasce BelMondo, la comunità virtuale che vuole mantenere connessi tutti i partecipanti a Crossings. Il nome lo ha trovato Rajib, che quell’anno aveva partecipato a un workshop organizzato dal festival: “Ho scelto questo nome perché era simile al nome originario del posto, Belmonte, e perché il paese è un posto bellissimo dove vivere, soprattutto per la natura e i paesaggi”, racconta. “Il ricordo più bello che ho è la condivisione con gli studenti di Londra”. Fotografie, disegni, lavoro. Ma anche balli e chiacchiere: “Io non ho mai studiato, ma loro non mi hanno mai fatto sentire diverso perché migrante. Siamo diventati amici”. Rajib lavora a Cosenza come mediatore culturale. Aiuta i nuovi arrivati, che come lui non sanno cosa fare né dove andare. “Il progetto segue le fasi politiche: con il Decreto Sicurezza molti migranti sono stati costretti ad andarsene”, spiega Rita. “Ma tutti quelli che coinvolgiamo vogliono tornare anche gli anni successivi, perché a Belmonte hanno trovato una dimensione umana che manca nelle grandi città”.

    Tra i progetti più recenti c’è la ristrutturazione dell’ex Casa delle Monache, ora diventata Casa BelMondo. Sarà un punto di ritrovo e condivisione. Per ora sono stati rifatti i pavimenti di tre stanze: il programma originario prevedeva di proseguire i lavori quest’estate in occasione di Crossings 2020, ma non è stato possibile a causa della pandemia. L’edizione di quest’anno sarà quindi digitale e virtuale, come è successo per molti altri eventi.

    Il segnale di rete è ancora incerto per le vie del centro storico, a Belmonte Calabro. Ma non è più un’isola: “Molti ragazzi dei territori vicini, per esempio di Cosenza, hanno scelto di visitarlo. La comunità locale all’inizio ci guardava con un po’ di diffidenza, ma ora ci conosce e interagisce con noi, soprattutto nei momenti di convivialità”, spiega Rita. “Ora vogliamo pensare a come crescere per il futuro”. E poi ci sono i migranti, per i quali questo borgo storico calabrese è diventato una seconda casa, come dice Rajib: “Per me, c’è il mio paese natale. Subito dopo c’è BelMondo”.


    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Calabre #Italie #accueil #étudiants #villes-refuge #dépeuplement #démographie #architecture #urbanisme #imaginaire


    Ajouté au fil de discussion "I paesi che rinascono grazie ai migranti":

  • Trump soll Assange Begnadigung angeboten haben | DW | 19.02.2020

    Trump soll Assange Begnadigung angeboten haben | DW | 19.02.2020

    Menschenrechtler und Mediziner verweisen auf den kritischen Zustand, in dem sich Wikileaks-Gründer Assange in der Haft befindet. Derweil werden Informationen über einen Deal bekannt, den die USA angeboten haben sollen. Trump soll Assange Begnadigung angeboten haben | DW | 19.02.2020 #USA #Großbritannien #US-Präsident #DonaldTrump #Wikileaks #JulianAssange #London #Anhörung

  • Deliveroo driver murder: Calls for more protection for delivery workers after deadly London stabbing | The Independent

    4 days ago - by Eleanor Busby - ‘More members of public are treating delivery drivers with utter contempt,’ union says

    The fatal stabbing of a man in London has prompted calls for better protection for delivery drivers.

    The 30-year-old victim – who is believed to have worked as a delivery rider for UberEats and Deliveroo – was found in the Finsbury Park area on Friday night after reports of a knife attack.

    The Metropolitan Police said the incident appears to have occurred as a result of an isolated traffic altercation.

    But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and delivery drivers have called for greater protection from attacks following the death of the delivery driver from Algeria.

    Speaking from the scene of the knife attack on Saturday, Mr Corbyn, whose Islington North constituency includes Finsbury Park, said: “There are a lot of people working as delivery drivers, they must have better conditions of employment and employers must take more responsibility for their safety too.”

    “Police cuts have meant fewer officers on the streets and this raises issues of safety in the community in general,” he added. “Delivery drivers do a great job in London all of the time. Yet they are vulnerable.”

    Alex Marshall, chair of the couriers and logistics branch of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), said the union had noticed a rise in delivery drivers facing abuse when out on the road.

    He told The Independent: “More members of the public are treating delivery drivers with utter contempt. The companies they work for treat them awfully.

    “If the companies, who are supposed to be the ones looking after them, are treating riders with a lack of respect then it sets an example to so many other people to treat them in exactly the same way.”

    Mr Marshall believes employers could do more to improve the safety of drivers – such as providing onboard cameras and cars rather than bikes – and the police could provide more support.

    “When it comes to keeping them safe, a lot of the time the police are nowhere to be seen,” he added.

    Some of the delivery drivers gathered at the scene of the fatal stabbing criticised the companies they worked for and the police for not doing enough to protect them from attacks.

    Deliveroo and Uber driver Zakaria Gherabi, who knew the victim as “Taki”, said he has been attacked on multiple occasions while working as a delivery driver and says he no longer feels safe.

    In October last year, Mr Gherabi said an attacker punched him in the eye and dislocated his socket. “My attackers are still on the streets. The police do nothing. It happens. Nobody is going to save you. The company does not care, we are self-employed, but the food we are carrying is insured,” he said.

    Mr Gherabi added: “I knew the victim. He did not do anything, he was a good guy. He was stabbed to death on these busy streets. The job is not safe. I don’t feel safe doing it.”

    One driver said they felt unsafe “100 per cent” of the time. Another said: “I was attacked here by people with a big machete and now this man has been killed for no reason. The police do nothing.

    “They just come, take a statement and then they go.”

    Gulcin Ozdemir, a Labour councillor in Islington, north London, tweeted: “The lack of protection delivery drivers have where many of them have been physically abused, mugged at knifepoint and feel like easy targets. They shouldn’t be going to work in a constant state of fear.

    “My condolences to the family and Algerian community who are so heartbroken.”

    Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, who is leading the investigation, confirmed the victim’s next of kin have been informed, but that a post-mortem and formal identification have yet to take place.

    DCI John said: “The investigation is at a very early stage. It would appear at this time that an altercation has taken place between the victim, who was riding a motorcycle, and the driver of another vehicle in the vicinity of Lennox Road and Charteris Road, Finsbury Park.“

    He added: “The incident itself appears at this early stage to have been spontaneous and not connected to, or as a result of, anything other than a traffic altercation.

    “Specialist officers are working extremely hard to build a clear picture of what happened and I would encourage anyone who may have seen the incident or has information to come forward.

    “A forensic examination of the scene has been undertaken and I expect the road to reopen very soon.”

    #Großbritannien #London #Rassismus #Arbeit #Gigworking #disruption #Kriminalität

  • Nach Ubers Lizenzverlust in London: ähnliche Maßnahmen für Deutschland gefordert

    Steve McNamara (LTDA) war mit dem Beschluss sehr zufrieden: Der Bürgermeister habe definitiv die richtige Entscheidung getroffen, in dem er eine erneute Zulassung Ubers verweigerte.“Die Londoner werden dadurch sicherer transportiert. Ungeeignete Beförderungsunternehmen wie Uber können ihrer Verantwortung nicht entgehen.”

    McNamara zeigte wenig Mitleid mit dem US-Vermittler: “Uber hatte 17 Monate Zeit, um die Bedingungen ihrer professionellen Lizenz zu erfüllen, und doch haben sie die Sicherheit von Londonern ständig gefährdet, in dem sie von Fahrern gefahren wurden die nicht den richtigen Führerschein, Genehmigung oder Versicherung hatten.”

    Kurz nach Bekanntwerden des Uber-Verbots meldete sich auch Michael Oppermann, Geschäftsführer des Deutschen Taxi und Mietwagenverbandes zu Wort: „Uber ist eine Gefahr für die Fahrgäste! Die Londoner Behörden habe ihre Entscheidung unter anderem damit begründet, dass die Fahrer nicht über die notwendige Qualifikation für die Beförderung verfügen. Dieses Problem haben wir auch in Deutschland. Erst in der vergangenen Woche wurde dies bei Kontrollen in Frankfurt/M. wieder deutlich.“

    #Uber #London

  • Why London wants to suspend Uber over driver impersonation

    11.27.19 - Transport for London officials say they “cannot be confident that similar issues won’t happen again in [the] future.”

    Officials in London said on Monday they won’t renew Uber’s license to operate in the city, citing a “pattern of failures,” such as unauthorized drivers taking the wheel in at least 14,000 trips. Driver impersonation is a recurring problem for the company around the world, one that has proven difficult to solve.

    The problem came from a “change to Uber’s systems” that allowed people to upload their own photos to authorized drivers’ accounts, Transport for London officials said, effectively letting them bypass Uber’s checks to make sure the right person is driving the vehicle and making it impossible for passengers to see that anything was amiss. That meant the trips weren’t covered by insurance and some drivers weren’t licensed at all, with at least one having previously had a license revoked by the transport agency, according to officials.

    Uber has vowed to appeal, calling the decision “extraordinary and wrong,” and is allowed to continue operating during that process.

    “Over the last two months, we have audited every driver in London and further strengthened our processes,” said Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, in a statement shared with Fast Company. “We have robust systems and checks in place to confirm the identity of drivers and will soon be introducing a new facial matching process, which we believe is a first in London taxi and private hire.”

    Transport for London officials say the problem took place in late 2018 and early 2019, and while one incident of driver impersonation was reported only three weeks ago, the actual ride took place in the early part of this year. Still, the agency remains concerned that Uber’s systems might allow similar problems in the future.

    “While we recognize Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured,” said Helen Chapman, director of licensing, regulation, and charging at Transport for London, in a statement. “It is clearly concerning that these issues arose, but it is also concerning that we cannot be confident that similar issues won’t happen again in [the] future.”

    An Uber spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for more detail about the “new facial matching process” described in Heywood’s statement.

    Uber has been working for years to combat multiple issues around driver impersonation. One problem involves unauthorized people simply claiming to be Uber drivers picking up distracted or inebriated passengers, then robbing or assaulted them. Uber has combatted that by reminding passengers to verify driver’s license plates and confirm drivers’ names when getting picked up. The company is also rolling out an optional feature where drivers would need to enter a PIN number displayed in the passenger’s app to start a ride, which would ensure the right drivers and passengers are matched, Fortune reported in September.

    But those measures wouldn’t protect against an unauthorized person using a friend or relative’s account to drive for Uber, unless passengers carefully compared driver photos against faces. For years, Uber has announced additional steps to prevent people from driving under other people’s names, whether with authorized drivers’ consent or through compromised accounts, but the problem has seemingly continued to pop up around the world. In 2016, the company announced that it had begun requiring drivers to periodically take selfies, which would be algorithmically compared with their photos on file to verify they were the right driver. (Uber rival Lyft, which didn’t respond to an inquiry from Fast Company, uses similar measures.)

    The selfie system came under recent scrutiny after an unauthorized Uber driver in Melbourne, Australia, was convicted in September of raping a passenger after using a photo of an authorized driver, rather than a selfie, to confirm his identity. In a statement reported by Business Insider Australia at the time, Uber denied that vulnerability was still an issue, with a spokesperson saying the company had added technology and human reviews to detect people using a photo in lieu of a selfie. The company also told Fortune it is rolling out a “liveness detection tool” that would require drivers make facial movements like blinking or smiling to verify their selfies aren’t just photos of photos.

    Uber’s face recognition separately drew concern last year from some transgender drivers, who said the automated system wasn’t able to recognize their faces as their appearances changed over time. In general, commercial facial recognition systems have faced criticism in recent years over their limited ability to recognize people from racial and gender minorities.

    Even a more accurate selfie-based system alone, though, seemingly wouldn’t have stopped the problem reported in London, where unauthorized drivers were allegedly able to substitute their own photos for the ones on file, since any selfies would match the uploaded photo of the illicit driver. Both Uber and Transport for London say Uber has taken steps to address that issue, although Transport for London officials still expressed concern that such a problem could arise again in declining to renew Uber’s license.

    “If they choose to appeal, Uber will have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate to a magistrate whether it has put in place sufficient measures to ensure potential safety risks to passengers are eliminated,” Chapman said in her statement.

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement that he supported Transport for London’s decision on Uber’s license. Officials in London, where operators of the city’s celebrated but costly black cabs study London geography and other facts for years to pass a notoriously difficult licensing exam, had previously sought to ban Uber in 2017, citing, among other things, “a lack of corporate responsibility” and Uber’s “approach to reporting serious criminal offenses.” Last year, after hearing of changes at Uber, a judge allowed the company to obtain a new London license.

    My statement on TfL’s Uber decision. pic.twitter.com/h8tiQeFQBH

    — Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) November 25, 2019

    Safety issues have at times hampered Uber’s legal authority to operate in other cities as well. Uber and Lyft both departed the Austin market in 2016, after city officials refused to back down from a requirement they fingerprint their drivers for background checks, which the companies called costly and unnecessary. Ultimately, Texas state legislators shifted ride-hailing regulation to the state level, where the fingerprint requirement was dropped. A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which now governs ride-hailing services, said the department hasn’t encountered issues with unauthorized drivers on Uber accounts.

    “To date, we have not received any complaints regarding unauthorized drivers using Uber or other TNC accounts, nor has the issue come up with any of our staff,” writes communication specialist Jeff Copas in an email to Fast Company. “We would certainly investigate any complaint we received along these lines.”

    Other cities have taken their own approaches to ensuring only authorized drivers are behind the wheel of Uber vehicles. In New York City, the Taxi and Limousine Commission logs individual trips and has field agents who can conduct spot checks to make sure only properly licensed people and cars are on the road.

    “We’re confident that the checks and balances New York City has help ensure passengers are serviced by vetted and licensed drivers that are a requirement for companies like Uber to continue operating here,” acting TLC Commissioner Bill Heinzen said in a statement shared with Fast Company on Monday.

    #Uber #London #Betrug #Fahrer

  • Le « sale petit secret » d’Uber | korii.

    ’utilisation de comptes par des personnes non autorisées est un casse-tête que l’entreprise peine à résoudre.
    Repéré par Barthélemy Dont sur Wall Street Journal, Fast Company

    02/12/2019 à 7h05

    La perte par Uber, le 25 novembre, de sa licence pour opérer à Londres lève le voile sur une pratique qui donne des migraines à l’entreprise : le partage de comptes par des conducteurs et conductrices.

    À cause de ce qu’elle appelle une « série de défaillances », l’agence Transport for London (TfL) estime qu’en quelques mois, 14.000 courses Uber ont été effectuées par des personnes non autorisées à le faire.

    Ce problème est loin d’être cantonné à Londres : de l’aveu même d’Uber, il est présent partout où la société opère. Le phénomène est même qualifié de « sale petit secret » par Bryant Greening, cofondateur de LegalRideshare, LLC, un cabinet d’avocats dédié à la défense des passagèr·es et des riders de VTC, interrogé par le Wall Street Journal.

    Les motivations pour ces échanges de comptes varient : un conducteur se fait remplacer pendant qu’il prend des vacances ; deux chauffeurs partagent un compte ; d’autres se contentent d’en ouvrir un puis de le proposer à la location pour quelques dizaines d’euros, afin de réaliser un petit profit sans avoir à conduire.

    Le souci réside dans les raisons pour lesquelles des individus préfèrent louer un compte plutôt que d’en créer un eux-mêmes. Selon le Wall Street Journal, certains n’ont pas de carte professionnelle ou savent qu’ils ne pourraient pas passer les vérifications préalables obligatoires (à cause de graves infractions routières commises par le passé, par exemple). Parfois, ils n’ont tout simplement pas de permis de conduire.

    Sécurité renforcée
    Uber lutte contre ce fléau depuis des années mais ne réussit pas à le résoudre. Depuis 2016, l’entreprise demande aux conducteurs et conductrices de prendre un selfie pour vérifier que la personne derrière le volant est bien celle qui est titulaire du compte. Le dispositif peut néanmoins être berné par une simple photo.

    Uber assure avoir amélioré sa technologie et va introduire un nouveau mécanisme qui supposera de faire un mouvement spécifique afin de renforcer la sécurité.

    Dans le cas de Londres, cela ne changera pas grand-chose, puisque les fraudeurs et fraudeuses parvenaient à uploader leur photo dans un compte ne leur appartenant pas, avant de l’utiliser sans encombre.

    Uber affirme être à l’affût des signes indiquant un partage. Changement du numéro de téléphone lié au compte, accès via de multiples appareils, modification des modalités de paiement et volumes horaires trop importants sont autant d’indices qui peuvent lui mettre la puce à l’oreille. Malheureusement, ce n’est visiblement pas suffisant, et cela pourrait coûter cher à la plateforme de VTC.

    #Uber #London #Betrug #Fahrer

  • Uber Loses License in London - Shelly Palmer

    Uber was stripped of its license to operate in London today. The governing body, TfL (Transport for London), stated that Uber does not meet the “fit and proper” requirements for private hire operators. Uber immediately appealed, so it’s business as usual for Uber drivers and riders today, but both sides are gearing up for a fight.

    Uber does not have a stellar reputation. There have been all kinds of claims against the company. Some warranted, others not. All in, this is the second time in two years that the company’s license renewal has been rejected. The London Cab Drivers also hate — and I do mean hate — Uber and everything it stands for. I spend a fair amount of time in London, and the cabbies universally want Uber off the roads.

    At first, it was a pride thing. It used to take a remarkable amount of education to be a London cabbie. You may call it “street smarts,” but they had to take a test that the average Londoner might well fail. Unlike many planned cities (even NYC), London evolved over time, and the only way to know your way around is (was) by memory. In the age of Waze, Google Maps, Apple Maps, and other apps, all you need to do is be able to drive. That’s the main point. The cabbies and private car services in London are getting destroyed by Uber (and by other ride-sharing companies). They want them gone.

    Then, there’s the other “European” strategy. Don’t invest in tech. Just fine it. I’m not sure that one fully applies here, but it’s a disturbing pattern emerging across the whole of Western Europe.

    Uber tweeted, “We have fundamentally changed our business over the last 2 years, setting the standard for safety in the industry. TfL’s decision on our London licence is wrong and we will appeal,” which will let Uber’s 3.5 million customers and 45,000 driver breathe a little easier today.

    My guess is that Uber will work this out. Clearly, Uber has room for improvement, and this may just be the government putting them on notice (again). I can’t imagine a major city without Uber. That said, Lyft certainly can.

    #Uber #London

  • London und die gekauften Mietwagenprüfungen

    12. November 2019 von Wim Faber - Die Zahl der Londoner Mietwagenfahrer ist in den letzten Jahren explosionsartig gewachsen. Viele von Ihnen scheinen ihre Fahrerlaubnis allerdings illegal erworben zu haben. Das deckten Recherchen der BBC auf.

    Mietwagenfahrer arbeiten meist für Apps wie Uber. Sie müssen obligatorische Prüfungen ablegen, um eine Private Hire Fahrer-Genehmigung zu erhalten. Bei einer verdeckten Untersuchung der BBC wurden jedoch Schulungszentren entdeckt, die mit den erforderlichen Tests schummelten. Der Lizenzgeber Transport for London (TfL) sagte dass er mit diesem BBC-Beweis sofort mindestens 1.667 Anträge storniert hat und nachprüfen wird. TfL sagte, „es war zutiefst besorgt“ über die Ergebnisse.

    Wohl auch deshalb, weil Mietwagenfahrer auch zunehmend in schwere Unfälle verwickelt sind, beispielsweise letzte Woche, als ein Mietwagenfahrer – unter dem Einfluss von Drogen – zwei Busse im Londoner Stadtteil Orpington rammte. Der Busfahrer starb bei dem Unfall, viele Busreisende wurden verletzt.

    Unternehmen wie Uber haben die Zahl der Mietwagen-Konzessionen zwischen 2011 und 2018 um 86 Prozent explosiv in die Höhe getrieben: von 61.200 auf 113.645. Die Anzahl von Taxis in der Britischen Hauptstadt verharrt dagegen konstant bei etwa 25.000.

    In London müssen Taxifahrer die Prüfung für ‘The Knowledge’ ablegen, eine topografische Prüfung, die drei bis vier Jahre intensive Vorbereitung mit regelmäßigen Prüfungen erfordert.

    Um eine Fahrgenehmigung für Mietwagen zu erhalten, wird das Strafregister des Bewerbers überprüft und ein medizinischer Test durchgeführt. Außerdem müssen die Bewerber in einem der acht offiziellen Tfl-Testzentren eine topografische Prüfung und einen (kürzlich verschärften) Englischtest ablegen.

    Der Nachweis dieser Prüfungen kann auch über andere (oft private) Schulungszentren erbracht werden. Über diese sogenannte BTec-Qualifikation kann jemand mit einer Fahrergenehmigung eine Private Hire (Mietwagen)Konzession beantragen. Nicht nur in London, sondern auch in vielen anderen Städten des Vereinigten Königreichs.

    Eines dieser Schulungszentren, Vista Training Solutions in Newham, East London, bot an, die Tests für verschiedene verdeckte Ermittler der BBC für 500 Pfund (580 Euro) pro BTec durchzuführen. Personenbezogene Daten wurden verfälscht und die Online-Prüfungen von den Schulungsleitern abgenommen.

    Der BBC-Journalist, der nicht am Unterricht teilgenommen oder eine Prüfung abgelegt hatte, erhielt ein BTec-Zertifikat, mit dem er Mietwagen oder (außerhalb von London) auch Taxifahrer hätte werden können.

    Ein anderer Undercover-BBC-Mitarbeiter, der ebenfalls nur bezahlt hatte, erhielt daraufhin auch ein BTec-Zertifikat. Vista war eines der verschiedenen Zentren, von denen die BBC erfuhr, dass es betrügerische Qualifikationen ermöglichte. Während der Undercover-Aufnahmen gab der dortige Ausbildungsleiter an, „mehr als 300 Schülern“ betrügerisch dabei geholfen zu haben, die erforderliche Qualifikation zu erlangen. Seit über zwei Jahren können Fahrer so einfach TfL-Fahrergenehmigungen beantragen, sagte der Manager. Er warnte die Schüler, „niemandem zu sagen, dass jemand den Test für Sie durchführt“. Vista Training Solutions erhielt seit 2018 mehr als 1,5 Millionen Pfund (1,7 Millionen Euro) für diese Art von Schulung.

    Caroline Pidgeon, stellvertretende Vorsitzende des Verkehrsausschusses in London, sagte der BBC: „Fahrgäste steigen in diese Fahrzeuge ein und müssen wissen, dass sie in Sicherheit sind. Zu hören, dass Teile dieser Kurse in London betrügerisch sind, ist wirklich beunruhigend und TfL muss das dringend in den Griff bekommen.“

    Helen Chapman, eine für Taxi- und Mietwagengenehmigungen zuständige TfL-Direktorin, sagte: „Es ist sehr besorgniserregend zu hören, dass einige Schulungskurse illegal Zertifikate ausstellen können. Wir werden die Behörden bei weiteren Ermittlungen gegen diese Organisationen unterstützen und unverzüglich gegen jeden Fahrer vorgehen, der bei der Erlangung eines Führerscheins als betrügerisch eingestuft wurde. „

    TfL sagte auch, dass alle neuen Anträge, bei denen die topografische Prüfung auf einem privaten Kurs statt auf einem der acht offiziellen Prüfungszentren abgelegt worden war, nun zurückgestellt worden seien.

    Vista Training Solutions sagte, man sei schockiert über die Vorwürfe, dass es sich um einen Verstoß gegen seine Richtlinien sowie ein Verbrechen handele, und dass es seine eigenen internen Ermittlungen einleiten werde. Zwei Manager, unter anderem der in diesem Beitrag zitierte, die laut Unternehmensangaben für den BTec-Taxikurs verantwortlich waren, arbeiten nicht mehr bei Vista. Beide wurden von der BBC kontaktiert, lehnten jedoch eine Stellungnahme ab.

    #Taxi #Uber #London #Ortskunde

  • Taxi Leaks: The Last Post Of 2018 ... Coming Soon, The Taxi Trade’s Winter Of Discontent.

    As we approach the New Year, it has become obvious the Mayors transport strategy for Central London will see our trade relegated from being the best Taxi service in the world. We are now moving at incredible speed, closer to the Project Horizon goal of a trade half the size (cut down to 13,000) integrated into a one-tier system with Private Hire.

    I remember, many years ago, the Metropolitan Public Carriage Office, writing to every licensed Taxi driver saying “their must be no, ’no go areas’ in London for Taxis”.

    “You will be expected to go to any destination, anywhere within a six mile radius (now extended to twelve) or within one hour in duration and their must be no exceptions”.

    Yet these past two years we’ve been afforded no protection from the mob wreaking havoc around the Lisson Grove area, which is fast becoming a ’no-go area’.

    Mayor Khan is bent on our destruction after four centuries of our iconic Taxi trade, as he sanctions the creation of more ’no go areas’.

    We’ve had 9 years of protest, demonstration...consultation after consultation, engagement and negotiation and yet our representatives have learn nothing. Our largest org alleged to be too friendly with the commissioner (on-side Mike), recently referred to protesting drivers as loonies.

    This year, after six demonstrations, two bouts of negotiations, followed by an extended period of waiting and seeing, we lost access to the Bank Junction.
    The system was financed by TfL in order to speed up bus times. But on closer inspection, once through the junction the busses hit more of Khans chaos which negates any advantage made by the ban.

    This is soon to be followed by a traffic ban along a new two way Tottenham Court Road leaving just busses and cycles, with access to Oxford Street/Baker Street in consultation and eTaxi only bus lanes still to come.

    Caught up in the middle of these attack on our trade, are the unfortunates, the disabled and less mobile members of the public. Mayor Khan is stealing freedom of movement from the disabled to shop wherever they like, in order to give-away and make more room for able bodied shoppers who he hopes will be traveling back-and-forth with Crossrail’s new Elizabeth line (when it’s eventually finished, but that’s another past the buck scandal).

    Amazingly, we’ve had virtually no help from disabled group lobbyists (probably worried about losing their funding should they go against TfL) and the wheelchair users -past and present- on the board of TfL have said nothing in defence of the disabled’s right of access and the freedom to shop on Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street and Baker Street.

    There is (as always), a hidden agenda...’Project Horizon’, plus Khan obviously feels he can usurp many extra passengers onto the new line by making it as difficult as possible for taxis to get to popular destinations around the capital.

    Taxi Leaks has been speaking of Project Horizon for several years now after it was discovered by accident published on the Internet (now removed) and TfL have always denied it ever existed.

    We predicted back in 2009, that under this agenda, there would be no-go Taxi areas, followed by Private Hire rest ranks where drivers would be allowed to rank and wait to be hired. On top of this, we now predict that PH WAVs will soon be allowed to rank at major venues and mainline stations.

    With no current regulation on Taxi apps, it seems we could be sharing virtual ranks with on demand private hire, sooner rather than later.
    (This could change though as Chris Johnson has now reached his total to take his case against the apps forward)

    With Country Boy Rett Russell (Garrett Emerson) in charge of London’s Ambulance service, it’s only a matter of time before we see Uber on-demand immediate hire ranks at hospitals around Greater London.

    We are supposed to learn from past history, but it seems our trade representatives have learned nothing.

    After years of negativity and deterioration, fighting the unfair and elitist United Trade Group (UTG), did we not all cheer when Val Shawcross announced the group itself would be scrapped and the gagging order known as the engagement policy would be assigned to the shredder.

    But then, the old United Trade Group was replaced by the new United Trade Group. Another lesson not learned.

    To further the progression of Project Horizon, TfL has placed the trade in the predicament of struggling to afford new replacement vehicles, by authorising just the one highly expensive vehicle and giving our work to a non-domicile company which pays little to no tax here in the UK.
    We have also recently learned from the Mayor’s statement at City Hall, that the subsidy on new Taxis will only be available for the next 250 vehicles off the production line, many of which are already on order to larger garages.

    The Worm Is Finally Turning....Its Time To Put Up The Fight Of Your Lives...If The Trade Is To Survive.

    The trade’s rank and file drivers will be disregarding weak leadership and fighting back on a scale never before seen on our streets. If the trade orgs leaders won’t support the coming actions, they will be deemed part of the problem and dealt with accordingly.

    No longer lions led by sheep...
    The Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA)
    Coming later this month, no more waiting and seeing.

    Keep an eye on social media for updates later this month.

    As we say farewell to 2018, we were greeted with the insulting news of an OBE for the man, under who’s watch we saw
    • The licensing and expansion of an illegally operating on demand car service app, decimating the livelihood of many Taxi and private hire drivers. (Question: why was the Deloitte’s report silenced??? Why wasn’t the meter verdict challenged when it became apparent that Bertram had lied under oath??? In the Uber licensing appeal, why did TfL only appear as an interested party??? )
    • The standard of passenger safety on buses went through the floor, with KSI stats from Bus collisions going through the roof. (17 serious injuries from collision per day in the first quarter of 2018)
    • London’s roads ground to a halt... in gridlock caused by incredibly bad planning and a complete lack of understanding in the capitals traffic needs. TfL commissioner went on recorded saying the segregated cycle lanes were rolled out to quickly without adequate planning!

    Leon Daniels is to be awarded an OBE for his services to London’s Transport....He’s better known to our trade as ’Leon the Liar’ after allegedly misleading the GLA transport committee twice with lies that supported the ongoing licensing of the Uber platform.
    Lie 1. ’Uber drivers have special on off insurance’... completely unsupported by the Association of British Insurers.
    Lie 2. ’I have with me the contact number for Uber passenger help line’. The number he gave the GLA was in fact Jo Bertram’s personally ex-directory number.
    TfL then changed the licensing requirements to make a passenger contact landline unnecessary.

    Leaving TfL facing a £1bn budget deficit, Leon was awarded a £500,000 bonus for having his employment ’terminated’.

    #London #Taxi #Uber #Politik

  • Londoner Behörde verlängert Uber-Lizenz nur um zwei Monate
    Alles sehr schön, aber damit geht es keinen Zentimeter in Richtung einer Modernisierung des Taxigewerbes im Sinne von Verbesserung der Arbeits- und Einkommenbedingungen der aktiven Fahrerinnen und Fahrer. Das System Auto ist am Ende, und wenn es nicht gelingt, kommunale Umstiegsszenarien vor dem Ausstieg aus der individuelen Masse-Personenbeförderung zu entwickeln, dann werden Autobranche und Fahtenvermittler sich durchsetzen, früher oder später. Taxi sollte als kommunaler Service innovative Signale setzen.

    Es ist das zweite Mal in zwei Jahren, dass TfL den Antrag von Uber auf eine Vollbetriebslizenz abgelehnt hat. Im September 2017, am Ende seiner ersten fünfjährigen Zulassungsperiode, erklärte TfL, Uber sei kein “fit and proper” (taugliches) Unternehmen, und verwies auf Bedenken hinsichtlich der Sicherheit der Passagiere. Im Berufungsverfahren wurde Uber eine vorläufige Lizenz mit einer Laufzeit von 15 Monaten erteilt.

    Anscheinend haben diesmal die Proteste des Taxigewerbes – die noch vor einigen Tagen 3.000 Bittschriften bei Bürgemeister Sadiq Kahn ablieferten – und die vielen Klagen(laut Medienberichten mehr als 800) über Sicherheitsmängel bei der US-App einen Einfluss gehabt.

    Noch im Juli dieses Jahres wurde Uber mit einer Geldstrafe von 28.800 Pfund (31.680 Euro) belegt, weil zwei seiner Fahrer ohne Versicherung arbeiteten und keine ordnungsgemäßen Aufzeichnungen führten. Ein Sprecher des Londoner Bürgermeisters, Sadiq Khan, sagte, er unterstütze die Entscheidung von TfL. Er sagte: „Sadiq war sich völlig klar, dass es in London egal ist, wie mächtig und wie groß Sie sind, Sie müssen sich an die Regeln halten.“

    Steve McNamara der Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) kommentierte: „Die Gewährung einer zweimonatigen befristeten Lizenz für Uber zeigt deutlich, dass die Firma ihre Bewährung nicht bestanden hat und nach wie vor eine große Bedrohung für die öffentliche Sicherheit darstellt.“

    #Uber #Taxi #London #disruption

  • Das Ende der „Black Cabs“: Der Londoner Wendekreis - taz.de

    Ende des Jahres 2010 hat der Londoner Bürgermeisters Boris Johnson neue Abgasrichtlinien veröffentlicht. Bis 2020 soll die Taxi-Flotte der britischen Hauptstadt kein Kohlendioxid mehr ausstoßen. Derzeit sind die Londoner Taxis für über dreißig Prozent der durch Fahrzeuge verursachten Luftverschmutzung verantwortlich und übersteigen die EU-Grenzwerte stark. Gerade im Stadtzentrum und an Hauptverkehrsadern seien die Abgaskonzentrationen so hoch, dass sie gesundheitsschädlich sind.

    Nach Messungen der Weltgesundheitsbehörde WHO ist der Stickoxidgehalt in der Londoner Luft höher als in jeder anderen europäischen Stadt. Zusätzlich zur Luftverschmutzung beschweren sich viele Londoner über die schlecht gedämpften Motoren der alten Taxis. Sie seien so laut, dass man sie schon aus der Ferne höre. Deshalb hat der Bürgermeister 2011 auch ein Fahrverbot für Taxen, die älter als fünfzehn Jahre sind, verfügt.

    Ab Januar 2013 also werden keine der alten schwarzen Taxen der vor 1997 gebauten FX-Modelle mehr auf Londons Straßen fahren, und auch die nachfolgende Baureihe wird langsam verschwinden. Denn sowohl das Mercedestaxi als auch das von Nissan haben deutlich niedrigere Abgaswerte.

    Vereinigtes_Königreich #Großbitannien #London #Taxi #Umwelt