| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

Uber tries to win over London black cabs

In an effort to win over the taxi industry in the British capital after 10 years of hostilities, ride-hailing company Uber (UBER.N) announced on Wednesday that it will open up its platform to London’s black cabs starting in 2019.

Uber’s black taxi drivers in London, who must pass an exam known as “The Knowledge” that requires them to commit thousands of routes to memory, have long been at odds with the company, claiming it threatens their ability to make a living.

The new service offered by Uber, which will be rolled out in early 2024, will enable black cab drivers to sign up to the app to take booked journeys. The U.S.-based giant is offering them a no commission deal for the first six months.

But a group representing the majority of black cab drivers dismissed the offer, saying there was no demand for it from members.

“We have no interest in sullying the name of London’s iconic, world-renowned black cab trade by aligning it with Uber, it’s poor safety record and everything else that comes with it,” said Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA).

Black cabs, also known as Hackney carriages, are the only London vehicles that can pick up passengers from the street or taxi ranks in the city. They can also be booked through other apps.

  • Reuters