Uber responds to black cab drivers: 'Join us'
US company says they will follow the fare rates set out by Transport for London while undercutting rival black cab app Hailo
As many as 12,000 black cabs are expected to congregate around Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Parliament Square in protest against regulations that let private Uber drivers operate as taxis.
Uber’s app allows customers to order a car based on their GPS location and handles payment, but black cab drivers says the app given to drivers (different to that used by customers) essentially functions as a taximeter – a device covered by legal regulations.
Uber, which was founded in 2009 and was recently valued at $18.2 billion, has responded by adding ‘Black Taxis’ to its three current vehicle classes – uberX, EXEC and LUX.
The company has also undercut rival app Hailo (which offers similar functionality to Uber but only offers access to taxi cabs) by charging “a flat commission of just 5%”.
Uber has said it expects “initial availability” of black cabs “to be limited due to high demand” – although as the service was only announced today it seems unlikely that any black cabs have signed up yet.
The protests in London are part of a wider backlash against Uber, with similar actions hitting cities including Paris, Berlin and Madrid. The company currently operates in 128 cities in 37 countries.
The Uber app allows customers to order taxis based on their GPS location and handles payments automatically.
Read more: Uber vs black cabs - which is quicker?
Uber’s UK general manger Jo Bertram told the BBC that there was “room for black cabs and private hire cars to co-exist in London.”
She said: "We are open to discussions with black-cab drivers, unfortunately today's demonstration disadvantages Londoners and it closes down discussion."
Steve McNamara of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association said that the black cab drivers have “nothing against competition” but “feel that Transport for London has failed Londoners by allowing Uber to operate outside the law.”
Life & Style blogs
Penis size study: what's 'normal' anyway?
Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
Penis size: is there a correlation with sexual satisfaction? A scientific look
From criminal to catwalk: Convict Jeremy Meeks wins modelling contract in the most unusual fashion scouting – behind bars
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
- 5 Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Software Application Developer (C# & ASP.Net, SQL S...
£27000 - £33000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End Devel...