DFT report has been an eye-opener during COVID-19 era. According to the report by the Department for Transport (DFT), COVID-19 had led four in five people to use taxis and private vehicles for safety purpose.
81% of people total surveyed claim that they use taxi and private hire since the start of COVID-19. Only 6% of people say they increased the usage of the service during the pandemic period, leaving 13% of the public using cabs at the same level say the DFT report.
81% who agreed to use cabs also claim to have concern for their health. That figure remains better than other modes of public transport like planes, trains and buses where public safety is a serious concern.
Confidence in public transport, taxis and minicabs is expected to remain low even when the restrictions will be off. In DFT report, 76% of people still felt they would be concerned about their health when using the taxi or minicab post-coronavirus.
Difficulties during Pandemic
Commuters are not the only who are concerned about their health, but taxi and private hire drivers too are facing the heat. As a part of World Mental Health Day, London transport regulators have recognised taxi and private car hires to know the difficulties faced by them during the COVID-19 period.
Transport for London (TFL) reached out to thousands of taxi and minicab divers urging cabbies to look into their wellbeing.
TFL ran a campaign during World Mental Health Day under the hashtag #DoOneThing for better health of cabbies and private hire drivers. The campaign allowed them to help cabbies to come up with new skills that can further help to bring down the stress.
Graham Robinson, TfL Taxi and Private Hire General Manager said, “This year has been particularly challenging in so many ways which is why it is important to take the time out and focus on your health and wellbeing, as well as that of those around you. We recognise the difficulties being experienced by taxi and private hire licensees as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and it is essential to be self-aware and spot any early warning signs of feeling physically or mentally unwell and to seek help and support at the earliest opportunity.”
TFL holds currently around 21,000 drivers and 108,000 private hire drivers. Since the lockdown, restrictions are easing, and after going through the DFT report, there could be a positive sign in the coming months.
Furthermore, the time since TFL found Ola unfit in London, commuters will prefer more travelling around cabs. TFL while scanning the overall process of riding in London. It found that the company has potential public safety consequences. These included historical breach of the licensing regime leading to unlicensed drivers giving rides to more than 1,000 passenger trips on behalf of Ola.
Helen Chapman, TfL’s director of licensing, regulation and charging, said: “Our duty as a regulator is to ensure passenger safety. Through our investigations, we discovered that flaws in Ola’s operating model have led to the use of unlicensed drivers and vehicles in more than 1,000 passenger trips, which may have put passenger safety at risk.”