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TAXI INDUSTRY BOOMING: London Black Cab work levels SURPASS pre-pandemic levels

Taxi drivers in London are experiencing a work-level BOOM as restrictions lift and workers return to the workplace once again.

At the height of the pandemic numerous taxi drivers were forced to turn to different jobs and employment to tide them over. Work levels have now spiked since school holidays have ended and employees begin to head back to the capital’s offices.

According to London’s biggest taxi fleet rental, Colts Cabs, the firm reported card payment transactions hitting its highest figure since the COVID pandemic forced restrictions in March 2020. More than 40,000 transactions were recorded on Thursday 9 September. In comparison, a daily number of card transactions in June 2020 fell below 3,000 payments.

A spokesperson from Colts Cab added: “Thank you for the belief in the trade to the drivers who have toughed it out daily so to get this far down the line. Here’s hoping for a winter free lockdown.”

The data supplied by Colts Cabs focuses on one of the four debit card transaction firms within the taxi industry. The data does not take into account work levels on the three other card payment providers, taxi apps, handheld payment units, radio circuits and cash work, but does provide an insight into work-level trends.

Taxi payment solutions provider Cabvision also backed up the surge in demand and work levels directed at the black cab industry. A spokesperson said: “In further positive news, we've just completed our best consecutive 7 days since February 2020.”

The spokesperson added: “In the past two weeks, some days are exceeding Pre pandemic levels.

“But as we know, more is being taken on cards, therefore, we cannot assume that drivers earnings have done the same.”

Taxi booking apps have also seen a surge in demand. Gett recorded over 17,000 uncovered jobs in one week as taxi drivers struggled to cover demand across the capital, but most notably in the Kensington and Chelsea area.

FREE NOW have introduced reward schemes to entice taxi drivers to cover more work on their platform too. However, with street work busy the option of paying no app fees and running no dead-miles to the pick-up destination could mean operators may continue to struggle for driver coverage.

More drivers are expected to return to the industry in the coming months, but a shortage of vehicles in London may hamper the industry’s recovery in terms of returning to pre-pandemic fleet numbers and meeting the demand put on the industry by people looking for a cab.


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