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Uber begins recruiting London taxi drivers for ‘Black Cabs’ option starting early 2024

Updated: Dec 4, 2023



Uber has announced its plans to introduce black cabs to its fleet in London, with drivers being able to sign up starting today.


This new service is expected to be rolled out in early 2024, offering passengers a chance to e-hail a black cab via the Uber app.

The inclusion of the iconic hackney carriage in the Uber app marks a significant moment for the ride-hail giants. Black cab drivers, who are in high demand by both Londoners and tourists, have long fought off the advances of Uber and other ride-hail operators since their arrival in the capital back in 2012.

Since their launch in London over a decade ago, Uber has experienced ups and downs, but has changed the way people travel. With over a billion trips provided and millions of app users each week, the company has become a dominant force in the transportation industry.


In recent years, Uber has expanded its reach beyond just ride-hailing. The app now offers a variety of services, including intercity trains, Eurostar, National Express, car rentals, and flight tickets. This latest move to collaborate with traditional black cab drivers further aims to establish Uber as a comprehensive mobility platform.

London is now the latest addition to a list of major cities where local taxi drivers have partnered with Uber. From Paris to New York and Rome, to cities in 33 different countries, taxi drivers across the globe have begun jumping on board.


Under the new system, drivers who sign up with Uber will receive regular taxi trip requests, complete with upfront fare ranges and destinations. They will then have the freedom to accept or reject these offers as they see fit. Additionally, all new drivers will be offered zero percent commission for their first six months as an incentive.


Hundreds of thousands of taxi drivers are now taking trips globally through the app, this number continues to grow steadily. In Europe and the Middle East specifically, more than 10% of Uber trips are now completed by taxi drivers.


Hameed Hameedi, the first London cab driver to sign up with Uber, completed the Knowledge in 2015. Before that he got to know London’s streets working as a private hire driver.


Hameed said: “A lot has changed since Uber first came to London, and I know lots of cabbies who first started out as Uber drivers. Nowadays more passengers than ever are using apps so Uber opening up to Black Cabs will be a huge advantage to the trade.


“App bookings are good for me because I know where my next job will be so I don’t miss any time searching on the streets for the next job. Ultimately, more passengers booking trips means more cash for cabbies and I’m excited that we are now working together.”

 
 

Andrew Brem, General Manager of Uber UK, said: “We’re partnering with taxi drivers across the world and the message we are hearing from them is clear – Uber and taxis are better together. Black Cabs are an iconic part of the capital, loved by Londoners and visitors alike, and we are proud to work side by side. Partnership is win-win-win: helping London cab drivers earn more, boosting travel options for passengers and making London’s transport network more efficient.”


Muniya Barua, Deputy Chief Executive of BusinessLDN, said: “This new partnership will help Londoners and tourists get around the city more easily by making different travel options available at the tap of a button. It will provide cabbies with a steady flow of bookings and it will benefit businesses across the capital by making travel across the capital more efficient.”

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