London’s famous black cabs will be listed on the Uber app, which is a big win for the ridehail company

Uber scored another victory in its bid to win over the beleaguered taxi industry, announcing a plan to list London’s famous black cab drivers on its app.

The service won’t be rolled out until early 2024, but some London taxi drivers have already started signing up. Uber says all 15,000 London taxi drivers “will now have the opportunity” to sign up for Uber travel referrals. The company recently signed deals with taxi fleet owners in New York City, Paris, Rome and Los Angeles to list drivers on the app.

Next to New York’s yellow cabs, London’s black cabs are perhaps the most iconic cabs in the world. Not only is this a symbolic win for Uber, but it could also help build trust with taxi owners who may still be wary of Uber’s motives.

Indeed, not everyone is happy with Uber’s attempts to integrate taxi drivers into its app. The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), a trade group representing 10,000 drivers, is unsure whether drivers will adopt the app en masse.

“There is no demand for this partnership from the London taxi drivers we represent or from our passengers,” LTDA general secretary Steve McNamara said in a statement. “Neither the LTDA nor any other taxi trade group was consulted prior to this unilateral announcement. We are not aware of any drivers having been recruited and do not believe our members will even consider joining the app given its well-documented poor track record on everything from passenger safety to workers’ rights in London.

McNamara noted that passengers can already take a ride in a London black cab through numerous apps, including Gett, Taxiapp, FreeNow and ComCab. “We have no interest in tarnishing the name of London’s iconic, world-famous black taxi industry by aligning it with Uber, its poor safety record and everything else that comes with it.” , he added.

“We have no interest in tarnishing the name of London’s iconic, world-famous black taxi industry by aligning it with Uber.”

Uber has been at odds with the taxi sector for some time. At first, the company’s habit of being fast and loose with the rules irritated taxi owners, who accused the company of ignoring local regulations when entering new markets. Uber responded that the taxi company had many shortcomings before it arrived, including predatory lending.

But after failing to completely eradicate and replace the taxi industry, Uber turned to taxis to help fuel its next phase of growth. The company has said it wants to list every taxi in the world on its app by 2025. And for once, taxi owners are eager to participate.

Taxis are available on the Uber app in 33 countries around the world, with “hundreds of thousands” of taxi drivers receiving travel referrals from the company. Some of the largest markets by volume are Hong Kong, Poland, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey. Last year, Uber struck a deal to include about 14,000 of New York City’s iconic yellow cabs on its app.

When a taxi is hailed through Uber, the company receives a discount. Uber’s average global take-up rate (also called revenue margin) for rides in the third quarter of this year was 28.3 percent, compared to 27.9 percent in the third quarter of 2022. Uber said it would spend the first six months to waive his commission on rides for London taxi drivers. months.

Taxis are available on the Uber app in 33 countries around the world

Both Uber black cabs and London cabs are doing quite well these days, having recovered from the Covid pandemic. More and more new cabins are being registered, also electrically powered. And Uber last year secured a 30-month license to keep its ridesharing services operational in London, after a protracted battle with Transport for London over the company’s safety.

Last year, Uber lost a legal battle in Britain over the employment status of its drivers. This required the company to begin classifying its British drivers as employees and granting them minimum wage, paid vacation and other benefits.

London taxi drivers are known for their loyalty to ‘the Knowledge’, a seemingly uncanny ability to pinpoint thousands of landmarks in the Greater London region with precision. Taxi drivers study for up to three years and spend around £10,000 (about $12,707) to remember all the details.

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