THİS week, as London Gazete, we spoke to members of the community who live in London and work as a minicab driver or own a taxi company. In our interview, where we evaluated the effects of the coronavirus on the minicab industry, we received interesting comments and answers. Minicab drivers revolted especially because the UK government did not provide support funds for taxi drivers.
Minicab drivers were deeply affected during the coronavirus outbreak. I caught the virus twice. Hence, our number of customers dropped heavily, which of course caused a loss of money. Demand was already low before the epidemic, but it will provide a resurgence from the year. Currently, there is low demand. UBER has reduced its ride prices, but this is challenging for because we are working almost free of charge and we pay a high rate of commission to UBER. The government did not provide financial support to those working in our sector during this period.
We were affected financially and morally. Most of us have debts or a family to support, so life has to go on somehow. No support fund was provided for this sector by the government. Taxi drivers have to go outside to earn money, the Congestion Charge fee and hour should be reduced and it should not cover our sector. We go out to earn money, but we have to pay the price. There is an expense but no income, the government has not supported us.
We stayed at home for about three and a half months, and then we sat at home again during the quarantine period for a month. There was no income economically, and we earned lower revenues during the time we worked. Sometimes we earned between £30 and £60 a day despite driving around for long hours. However, there was another blow with the Congestion Charge. Taxi drivers’ expenses are quite high, but we do not have much income in this period. Our expectation from the authorities is that Congestion Charge’s fee and hour should be revised again, and even taxi drivers should not be charged.
The Covid-19 outbreak affected us deeply as it affected the whole economy. 80 per cent of our jobs fell and in the early days, like everyone else, we didn’t know what we were dealing with. As the owner of the Minicab company, we did not want to turn down the work, our drivers continued to work, but there was serious anxiety. Of course, we took great care to take all our precautions in this context. I am pleased with the support provided by the government, it contributed to us and kept the sector alive to some extent.