New rule imposed by TfL for public safety
The leading online transportation company won a case against the TfL, but this time it was the opposite. The drivers working in London have started taking up English language classes.
The Government body of London
Transport for London is a transportation body of the Greater London that is responsible for organizing and managing the river service, buses, cycling provision, trams, London underground, TfL Rail, Docklands Light Railway and London Over ground. The local government body has its headquarters in the City of Westminster in the Windsor House.
It also works with the national Department for London (DfL) in commissioning the construction of the cross rail line. Last year on January 21st, an announcement was made regarding the franchising of all the inner suburban rail services, according to the announcement the franchising will be transferred from the Department for transport to the Transport for London.
The new regulation to impose English language
The city’s transportation agency last year announced that all the private hired drivers have to take up the English proficiency test any only then they are permitted to ride on the streets of London. The agency claims that the test is imposed as an effect to enhance the safety of the public. According to the regulation, the private hired drivers will be able receive their driver’s license and the cost of the English proficiency test costs two hundred pounds ($245) or the drivers have to show other documents that will prove their language proficiency.
The agency earlier announced that the language proficiency had to be taken by the Uber drivers those who are from the non- English speaking countries, but a week later the transport agency said that all the drivers of the Uber’s black car service and UberX service had to take up the test. It claimed that the driver’s communication knowledge to a certain level is necessary for the public safety, like communicating with the riders about the fare, route, and reading the safety instructions and messages sent by the transportation agency during emergency situations, and understanding and responding to the important matters regarding the regulatory rules are some of the significant task in transporting the public.
According to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan the language proficiency test is one of the four regulations that he tried to impose on the drivers working for Uber and other private hiring companies. The other regulations are advanced driving test, identification of the vehicle to the passengers before they start their journey and the round the clock insurance. Because if the driver has any medical issues or if they require knowing the route to a particular place, the person must have knowledge in the English language so that the other person can understand their request and also understand what the other person is trying to say.
Uber again filed a case in the High court
The ridesharing giant filed a case against the regulation in August stating that the drivers will have unnecessary trouble in their jobs and that the immigration advocacy group also criticized in the court that the proficiency exam will become a burdensome task for the drivers and affect their livelihood. It also stated that the regulation is discriminatory.
According to the regulation of the Transport for London agency, all the Uber drivers who have applied for the driver’s license on October 14th, 2016 onwards will have to meet the regulation on or before March 31st, 2017. And after April 1st, all the drivers applying for the license should meet the regulation before applying. The ridesharing company is continuously receiving resistance in its transportation business in the government throughout Europe.
The company claims that passing the language proficiency exam has nothing to do with public safety or communicating with eth passengers or driving them safely to their destination. And the drivers who have spent many years in hailing the Londoners have to spend two hundred pounds in writing the proficiency test or lose their driver’s license and struggle for their livelihood.
Legal battle in London
The ridesharing company in the past has gained the legal victory in the United Kingdom that the company’s mobile application does not have a taximeter. This case was brought to the London High Court by the TfL after receiving continuous pressure from the drivers of the taxi industry and the black cab service. The taximeter is a small device attached to the cab that calculates the distance traveled and calculate the fare and this system is applicable only in the licensed taxis.
And the judgment came in favor of the ridesharing company as the judge ruled out that the smartphone that depends on the data information from the server outside the vehicle, it is not similar to the taximeter. So, the ridesharing company need not change its mobile app. However, the ridesharing can adapt to any kind of restriction or ban on its mobile application because the app requires entering their destination location before requesting for a ride. This means that the app does not record the distance, but it calculates the distance even before the passengers booking the cab.
This time it’s not Uber
The drivers working under the ridesharing company have to pass an English exam if they had to work in London. The case was filed in the High court in August 2016. Both the transport agency and the transportation company had their views regarding the regulation in the court.
The TfL defended that the regulation was imposed by them to ensure the safety of the public, while the immigration group and the ridesharing company were against the rule. The immigration advocacy said that the new regulation imposed by the TfL is discriminatory and criticized the act of the local transportation agency. The ridesharing giant said that the most of the drivers in London have the basic knowledge to communicate with the passengers, and if the regulation is imposed about forty percent of the drivers will fail in the language proficiency test and the drivers will have to struggle for their livelihood.
The final judgment of the case was in March and on the judgment day the judge John Mitting said that all the Transport for London must ensure that all the drivers from the private hire vehicle must take up the English proficiency test. Therefore the judgment came in favor of the transportation agency.
The director of service operations in Transport for London, Peter Blake said that after the judgment all the drivers driving in London are drivers who have the license and that they will have the right level of language proficiency. The ridesharing company however, has plans to appeal further and said that the judgment is disproportionate and unfair.
Earlier the ridesharing giant had successfully challenged the other regulations imposed by the agency, like all the private hired vehicle operators must provide 24×7 phone service in the city and that the drivers had to maintain commercial insurance even when the vehicle is not used by the private hire companies. The ridesharing company says that the regulation of taking up the proficiency test has nothing to do with the passenger’s safety and communication because all the drivers working in the company have more than two years of experience and that it will not be difficult for them to communicate with the riders.
Since it is the habit of the ridesharing company to violate the regulations, we can hope that the company will find an alternate way to eliminate the regulation.
Author Bio :-
Anand Rajendran is a marketing professional with eight years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies like Zoplay and Dectar. Zoplay deals with all Uber for x applications which sells uber for x softwares.