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
Men in tights: getting to the bottom of the latest trend
Night Nurse could put drivers over new drug limit
Snapchat removed the Best Friends list feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Xbox Live down: gaming service breaks itself, but hackers claim credit
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...