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Nearly half of all London taxis are working in central London each day reveals TfL data

Updated: Mar 31

Nearly HALF of all licensed taxis are working in central London each day, new Transport for London (TfL) data reveals.

In recent findings, TfL detailed the daily average count of taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) navigating through London's Congestion Charge Zone via a Freedom of Information (FoI) request.

Covering the period from November 2023 to February 2024, these statistics shed light on the ebb and flow of transportation within the city's heart during charging hours.

November 2023 marked the start of the tracking period, with an average of 7,803 taxis and 13,037 PHVs detected on weekdays. The weekend saw a decline in numbers, with taxis dropping to an average of 4,813 and PHVs to 9,736. The total unique taxis and PHVs recorded for November stood at 13,424 and 43,632 respectively.

December 2023 experienced a slight decrease in the average weekday detection of taxis to 7,633 and PHVs to 12,804. The weekend averages, however, painted a different picture, with taxis increasing to 5,101 and PHVs to 10,291. This month also faced data reporting challenges, as TfL reported missing information from 11-17 December due to a reporting issue.

As expected after Christmas, January 2024 saw further declines, with the weekday average for taxis falling to 6,957 and for PHVs to 11,618. Weekend averages also decreased, with taxis at 4,551 and PHVs at 8,655. Despite these fluctuations, the total number of unique vehicles detected remained relatively stable.

February 2024 concluded the reporting period with a slight rebound in numbers. The weekday average for taxis rose to 7,212, and PHVs to 11,982. Weekend detections remained consistent with previous months, rounding off the period with a steady presence of transport services within the zone.

When you compare the percentage of taxis and PHVs licensed by TfL against the proportion working in central London, the difference is stark. There are currently 14,781 black cabs and 92,450 PHVs licensed in the capital. Looking at February’s average weekday movements, around 48% of licensed taxis were out working in the Congestion Zone area on any given day. Just 13% of PHVs licensed entered the same area on an average weekday.

The data highlights the dynamic nature of London's taxi service, especially within the Congestion Charge Zone. While the figures demonstrate variations in monthly averages, the overall presence of taxis highlights their crucial role in the city's mobility ecosystem.


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