London’s black cabs are an iconic part of our city’s transport infrastructure – and we believe there’s room on our roads for both traditional taxis and newer options like Uber.
That’s why in 2014 we launched UberTAXI to help black cab drivers get extra fares through our app – for example when there are no passengers on the street or they’re waiting in a long queue at a rank. Last year we went a step further and said black cab drivers could use the ‘TAXI’ option in our app with zero service fee for the first twelve months.
When we made that offer a year ago we saw a spike in sign-ups and, since we first launched UberTAXI, hundreds of black cab drivers have taken tens of thousands of trips through the Uber app.
However, in recent months, those numbers have tailed off. At Uber we always want our riders to be able to get a car whenever they want and wherever they are – no matter which option on our app they choose. That hasn’t been the case recently with UberTAXI, which is why we will be ending this option on 31 March.
We will instead spend the coming months focusing our time and effort on new choices for Londoners – from the car-sharing option uberPOOL to wheelchair accessible vehicles and fully electric cars.
As for London’s iconic black cabs we believe the answer to the extra competition they’ve seen is to reduce the costs they face, rather than imposing bureaucratic new rules on apps like Uber. That’s how taxis and apps like Uber can live side by side for many years to come.