Private hire firms in the 'Black Country' have joined forces as they look to take the fight to controversial ride-hailing app Uber.
247 Cars’, which covers Darlaston and Wednesbury, has taken over Link Up cars, making it the largest private hire firm in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Wednesbury, according to the company's director Ali Shahzad.
Thanks to the deal which will see more than 450 vehicles merge under one operator, local drivers will have a chance of competing for work against the American industry export. The merger will have every area from Wolverhampton to Walsall covered by the prebooked firm.
According to a report in the Express and Star, Shahzad believes the takeover will result in quicker pickup times and a higher availability rate for those wishing to order a vehicle.
The new Black Country firm is also looking to take on another 100 drivers with or without their own suitable vehicles. Shahzad believes the company has ‘everything’ Uber has – and claims the service to be ‘more convenient’. The company will take card payments and also has a driving app available for any passenger that is hoping for an easier transaction.
The "Black Country" has seen an influx of private hire drivers working on the Uber platform over the past couple of years, with Wolverhampton coming under the most criticism for the amount of licenses they have reportedly issued to many drivers who travel into other licensing areas to pick up work.
The big question now is; will the passengers stick with a reputable local firm or turn to multi-billion dollar giants from Silicon Valley?