London’s Iconic Black Cabs Can Soon Be Hailed On Uber


In a major win for Uber, the company has announced that riders in London will soon be able to hail the city’s iconic black cabs using the popular ride-hailing app.

Key Takeaway

Uber’s recent announcement allows London riders to hail the city’s iconic black cabs using the app. While some black cab drivers have expressed interest, the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association has shown skepticism, citing concerns about Uber’s safety record and workers’ rights. Uber faces competition from other apps that already offer black cab services in London. Nevertheless, Uber aims to differentiate itself by providing additional transport bookings and is offering incentives to attract black cab drivers to its platform.

London Cabbies to Join Uber

Uber has started the process of signing up London cabbies for its trip referral service, but the actual rollout is not expected until early 2024. Despite this, Uber has already seen interest from some drivers who want to be listed on the app.

This move by Uber is part of its strategy to integrate traditional taxi services onto its platform. The company has been securing deals with taxi fleets in various cities around the world, including Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, and Rome. In fact, over 10% of Uber trips in Europe and the Middle East are already completed by taxi drivers.

London Taxi Drivers’ Association Remains Skeptical

However, it remains to be seen whether black cab drivers in London will embrace Uber. The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, a trade group representing 10,000 drivers, expressed a lack of interest in aligning themselves with Uber, citing concerns about safety and workers’ rights.

Steve McNamara, a spokesperson for the association, stated, “We are not interested 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 also mentioned that the association was not consulted prior to Uber’s announcement.

Uber’s Competition in the London Market

While Uber may be entering the London market, it is not the only app that allows riders to hail black cabs. Alternatives like Gett, Taxiapp, FreeNow, and ComCab already offer this service. Uber understands the need to differentiate itself and has expanded its offerings in the UK by providing additional transport bookings such as intercity trains, Eurostar, National Express, car rentals, and even flight tickets.

Benefits for Black Cab Drivers on Uber

Once registered with Uber, black cab drivers will receive regular trip dispatches, including upfront fare range and destination details which they can accept or reject. As an incentive, new drivers will enjoy a 0% commission for the first six months, potentially driving an initial surge in sign-ups. However, after this period, commission rates will return to the usual range of around 20% to 30%.

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