Uber has scored another victory against the struggling taxi industry. Soon, London riders will be able to hail an iconic black cab in the city.
London cabbies can now start signing up for Uber ride referrals, but the service won’t roll out until early 2024. Uber says some drivers have already started showing interest in being listed on the app.
Uber continues to negotiate with taxi fleet owners in a move to bring the traditional cab industry into its app. The ride-hail giant recently signed up taxi fleets in Los Angeles, New York City, Paris and Rome to list drivers on the app. Uber says in Europe and the Middle East, more than 10% of Uber trips are completed by taxi drivers.
Whether London’s black cab drivers sign up to Uber is another story.
In a statement, Steve McNamara, spokesman for the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, a trade group representing 10,000 drivers, said the group was not interested in “tarnishing the name of the iconic, world-famous black cab trade in London by aligning it with Uber, its poor safety record and others with it.
McNamara also noted that he doesn’t know of any of its drivers who have signed up to be part of Uber and doesn’t think it will go away, given Uber’s reputation for safety and workers’ rights. He said the group had not been consulted before Uber’s announcement.
London’s black cabs don’t need Uber to be hailed on-demand via an app. Cabs are available on other apps like Gett, Taxiapp, FreeNow and ComCab. So Uber is also trying to tap into markets with other offers.
To gain more market share and create stickiness for its app, Uber has made more transport bookings available on its UK app, such as intercity trains, Eurostar, National Express, car hire and even flight tickets.
Uber black cab drivers receive regular high-fare taxi ride deliveries and destination for the trip, which they can choose to accept or reject. All new drivers will benefit from 0% commission for their first six months, which will lead to an immediate increase in sign-ups before the commission gets to the usual range. , which is around 20% to 30%.