Cabs.com, a nationwide cab firm aggregator, this week added to its digital offering by launching its ‘Cab Firm In A Box’, aimed at Uber drivers.
The new service will enable independent cab drivers to effectively set up their own cab firm to rival Uber at a fraction of the cost and with all the additional financial benefits of ownership and increased profit.
Currently Uber drivers pay 25% commission on each fare. Cabs.com charges only 10p a fare, on top of £30 per month for a fully-automated dispatch system, driver app, and consumer digital hailing app – all the ingredients required to operate your own taxi company! This equates to about one-tenth of Uber’s charges.
William Berry, CEO and founder of Cabs.com, said: “The Uber business model is unsustainable, as witnessed by its disappointing flotation and subsequent drop in share price. Uber has never been profitable and recently posted an operating loss of $1.3bn. Furthermore, its greedy commission system and refusal to award its drivers employment rights mean many are living on the breadline or even operating at a loss.
“Cabs.com, by comparison, does have a sustainable business model, at a tenth of the cost of Uber. This makes the world of digital hailing affordable both to the 15,000 independent cab firms in the UK and, via our new ‘Cab Firm In A Box’ concept, to entrepreneurial individual drivers who would like to set up their own business.
“Setting up your own cab firm is very easy, particularly for those who already have a PHV licence and a car. We provide advice on all the administrative and legal steps that need to be taken to secure an operating licence, making the process very straightforward.”
There have been significant financial disputes between Uber and its drivers, both in the UK and worldwide. These culminatated in a strike two weeks ago where drivers demonstrated about only earning an average of £5 per week, well below the £8.21 legal minimum. They also demanded a reduction in Uber’s commission from 25% to 15% and an increase in the mileage rate to £2 from £1.25. Uber classifies its drivers as self-employed, making them free to extend their earnings elsewhere, including working for other cab companies or setting up their own.
Cabs.com currently lists over 8,000 of the UK’s cab firms on its website and already provides traffic and business to these companies. On 7 May it launched its technology platform which enables all of these to participate in the growing digital hailing revolution. This comprises a sophisticated dispatch software package and state-of-the-art driver and passenger apps. Cabs.com’s vision is to migrate many of these independent cab firms to its technology, providing the consumer with digital access to a truly nationwide network of private hire cabs not currently available, potentially 2 to 3 times as many as Uber, and with real UK coverage, urban and rural.