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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:07 am 
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Vokes launches taxi app to rival Uber in Medway

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/new ... er-205189/

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A major taxi firm has invested £200,000 in technology in a bid to fight off competition from Uber drivers.

Long established Vokes in Medway, which now incorporates Windmill Taxis and Rainham Cabs, has installed an automated dispatch system accepting bookings by app, web and by phone.

Customers are also able to track their taxi via a smartphone and are made aware of the cabbie’s name and car registration number.

Over the last three years, the international online firm Uber has impacted on independent Medway licensed cabbies, competing for trade and income.

Uber supporters have cited modern technology as the reasons why clients use them.

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Image: Kent Online

Mark Robinson, a partner at Vokes, said over the past year it had transformed from a traditional operator to a “high tech service provider”.

Mr Robinson, said: “Our new systems do everything Uber does and very much more - all under the watchful eye of the local authority.

"All our drivers have to meet the very high standards set by Medway Council, all intended to ensure a safe, consistent and reliable service to the general public.”

Uber is not licensed to act as a hackney carriage, a licence issued by the council, within the Towns.

Users simply book their journeys using a smartphone app and the firm is free to operate at will within Medway without breaking the law.

There are thought to be about 200 drivers working for the internet giant. Some come from outside the area with insufficient geographical knowledge.

Medway’s licensed drivers, who are self-employed, have to undergo regular stringent health, safety and driving checks and demonstrate that they know their patch.

Mr Robinson said: “To overcome a licensed taxi or private hire driver in Medway is no easy task. Our drivers are really hurting, many claiming that their income is down by as much as 30%. To overcome this, they are working longer hours but it’s fair to say that a few have given up the trade and if the situation doesn’t change we expect more to follow.

“Taxi services are an important part of Medway’s transport policy and we need more drivers, not less, entering the trade.”

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:11 am 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 4609
Quote:
A major taxi firm has invested £200,000 in technology in a bid to fight off competition from Uber drivers.


Presumably this is more than just adding an app, but £200k seems a lot of money - what were they using before, pen and paper? :shock:

Quote:
Uber is not licensed to act as a hackney carriage, a licence issued by the council, within the Towns.

Users simply book their journeys using a smartphone app and the firm is free to operate at will within Medway without breaking the law.


Usual spin and selective information to imply Uber totally illegal [-(

Quote:
“Taxi services are an important part of Medway’s transport policy and we need more drivers, not less, entering the trade.”


So drivers' income is 30% down, but they're looking for *more* drivers to enter the trade? How does that work, then? [-X

Fill in the blanks: S____ :badgrin:


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 2:23 pm 
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Location: 1066 Country
Quote:
Presumably this is more than just adding an app, but £200k seems a lot of money - what were they using before, pen and paper? :shock:

Doesn't say how many cars they have, but that cost will include new handsets, new office IT (dispatch and accounts), and the license costs for the mapping supplier.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:17 am 
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Posts: 4609
Quote:
“Taxi services are an important part of Medway’s transport policy and we need more drivers, not less, entering the trade.”


Hence this article, similar to the recent one from Hull.

But at least this is prominently flagged up as 'sponsored editorial', ie a paid advertisement. (What's sometimes called 'advertorial', thus an advert which looks like it's news/editorial)


Taxi driver careers in Medway: Training academy for drivers in Kent

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent-busin ... es-209043/

SPONSORED EDITORIAL

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Image: Kent Online

Are you on the lookout for a new career with flexible working hours and great pay?

Vokes Taxis Medway is looking for additional drivers and will soon be unveiling a brand new training academy tailor-made for the taxi industry that could really help you along the way.

More and more people are discovering the benefits of being a taxi driver and are taking full advantage of the different benefits within the industry.

Some of those benefits include flexible working hours and no more of a 9 to 5 shift, regular work, good pay and the opportunity to meet different and sometimes fascinating people.

Looking to help those interested along the way, Vokes is confident its new academy - which will be one of the first in the UK - will help lure new drivers into what is becoming an up and coming profession.

The academy will also have expert training on hand to help candidates understand and pass the necessary criteria to qualify for a taxi license which includes regular health, safety, DBS and driving checks as well as a test to establish that they know their area well.

“If you’re considering a career switch, then becoming a taxi driver is a brilliant way to go,” said Graham Humphreys, Operations Manager at Vokes.

Being a taxi driver - particularly at a big company like Vokes - means job satisfaction and it’s definitely worth looking into. Many of our drivers are earning a very attractive salary.”

But getting behind the wheel of a cab doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole new career change either.

The flexible working hours makes the job ideal when looking to earn some good extra money or just simply to get out into the world and meet new people.

It’s also a great in-between job for those who have just finished college or university and still looking for work.

In the last year, the company has invested heavily in advanced technology and hardware including an automated dispatch system accepting bookings via app, web and phone.

The new app also allows customers to track their taxi via a smartphone and can also obtain information such as the driver’s name and car registration number.

“Our training will offer exactly what is needed so candidates are in a strong position when it comes to taking the licensing test at Medway Council.”

With over 50 years of experience, Vokes Taxi Medway - which now incorporates Windmill Taxis and Rainham Cabs - serve not only the Medway towns but also connect to airports, ferry ports, channel ports and London.

Candidates need to first qualify to be licensed by Medway Council as either a Hackney Carriage (HC) or Private Hire Driver (PH).

The academy training is for both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licenses.

"All Vokes drivers are expected to meet the standards set by Medway Council set to ensure the general public receive a safe, consistent and reliable service,” added Graham Humphreys.

“We want our drivers to uphold the necessary professional standards without compromise and that is why we feel this academy will be a huge success.”

For more information about Vokes and the academy, click here.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:23 am 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 4609
Quote:
Some of those benefits include flexible working hours and no more of a 9 to 5 shift, regular work...

Yes, instead of 9 to 5 Monday to Friday, you can do 5pm to 5am all weekend, and work certainly has to be 'regular' if you can't afford to take holidays, be ill etc :roll:


Quote:
...and the opportunity to meet different and sometimes fascinating people.

Well if all I'm needing to do is meet new people then risking getting my face panned in wouldn't be how I'd go about it [-(

Quote:
Looking to help those interested along the way, Vokes is confident its new academy - which will be one of the first in the UK - will help lure new drivers into what is becoming an up and coming profession.

:-s

Quote:
It’s also a great in-between job for those who have just finished college or university and still looking for work.

And don't forget staving off the effects of Brexit :badgrin:


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