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TfL maintains £2 booking fee for black taxis amidst operator calls for increase to over £5

Transport for London (TfL) has decided to keep the additional £2 booking fee for taxis unchanged following a comprehensive public consultation.

This fee applies to taxi bookings made through a range of digital platforms, including telephone, mobile apps, and internet services, aiming to offset the costs associated with such bookings.

During the consultation, stakeholders, including taxi users and drivers, were asked whether the current £2 extra charge for booked taxis should be adjusted. A significant majority, 66.7% of respondents, supported maintaining the fee at its current level. This view was consistently held among both taxi users (68.1%) and drivers (61.2%). Key industry groups such as The St John’s Wood Society, Transport for All and United Cabbies Group (UCG) also advocated for keeping the booking fee steady.

However, there were differing opinions from within the industry. Addison Lee proposed an increase to £2.80, while FREENOW and Gett suggested a more substantial raise to £5.20. Despite these varying perspectives, TfL decided against any increase to the booking fee. This decision was influenced by several factors:

The dominant opinion among consultation participants was to keep the extra charge at £2.00.

TfL has already recommended increasing the primary taxi tariffs (Tariffs 1, 2, and 3), which follows a significant increase from the previous year. This means that all taxi services, including those booked through services, will see a price rise.

The growing number of users opting for booked taxis via apps or other digital means would mean that an increased booking fee would affect a larger segment of the customer base.

TfL's decision reflects a careful balancing act, aiming to cover operational costs without placing undue financial burden on passengers. By holding the booking fee steady, TfL acknowledges the evolving nature of taxi usage in London, ensuring that the city's transportation remains accessible and competitively priced for all users.


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