In the upcoming year, the ride-hailing company Uber (UBER.N) will start allowing black cabs to use its platform, according to a statement. This move comes after a decade of hostilities between Uber and the taxi industry in London.
Black cab drivers in London have been at odds with Uber for a long time because they must pass a test known as “The Knowledge” that requires them to memorize hundreds of routes throughout the city; they argue that Uber is dangerous to their ability to make a living.
Uber’s new service, which is scheduled to be released at the beginning of 2024, will make it possible for black taxi drivers to sign up for the app to transport passengers on trips that have been reserved. The megacorporation in the United States provides them with a commission-free contract for the first half of the year.
A group representing the majority of black taxi drivers, however, rejected the offer because none of the group’s members were interested in it.
According to Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), “We have no interest in sullying the name of London’s iconic, world-renowned black cab trade by aligning it with Uber, its poor safety record, and everything else that comes with it.” McNamara made this assertion.
Black taxis, often referred to as Hackney carriages, are the only vehicles in London that can pick up customers from the street or taxi ranks located within the metropolitan city. You may also make reservations for them using other applications.
The firm is looking to recruit taxi drivers to join its service in London, one of the top five markets for Uber. This is similar to what they have done in Paris, New York, and Rome. It is stated that customers and taxi drivers both gain from the partnership between Uber and taxi drivers.
If London’s “cabbies” were to accept the offer of joining the platform in a sizeable number, it would signify a considerable improvement in relations between the two parties.
Although it reached its pinnacle in 2014 when taxi drivers chose to block the streets to vote against Uber, they have not stopped being vociferous about their opposition to the service since then.
As the first London taxi driver to sign up, Hameed Hameedi, one of the drivers, announced that he would participate in the program. In his words, it can potentially be a “huge advantage” for the transaction.