In London, the standard taxi service embraces new forms of technology and payment. Transport for London, which is backed by London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, repudiated Uber’s application to take up again its private hire license in the city in September 2017. It successfully delivered the result in banning the ride-hailing app from operating its service in the U.K.’s capital. Although Uber’s case may not be effective with its insistent press campaign, the company is planning an appeal.
The basis for the ban was related to doubts over its “corporate responsibility” whether it’s not a power or it’s a power for good (low-wage employment when compared with consumers’ convenience by just calling rides through the user-friendly app) will be resolved by the English courts. Meanwhile, the city’s traditional taxi service has started to embrace some of Uber’s technological advantages it offers.
The most important change in London taxis is that they have to take contactless payments and credit cards. The utilisation of card machines causes the minimum fare to rise by 20 pence to £2.40 (or $3). It is because this covers the costs of utilizing such new innovative technology. Credit card firms have lowered their transaction fees as well for taxi drivers who are registered down to 3% per transaction. The usual charge rate is 10%, which also depends on the credit card firm.
Another revolution is with the usage of apps. London taxi operators have launched smartphone apps such as Gett and Hailo. Gett app proffers discounts on the metered fee for rides of 6 miles or more. On the other hand, Hailo app allows individuals to get a taxi through their smartphone. Also, cabs can be booked through web sites such as Licenced London Taxi.
An identical app to these is Taxiapp. This taxi app permits passengers to reserve and to give payment for a black cab just like they would through Uber. Nonetheless, instead of a determined price, the fee is always decided by the taxi’s meter. The payment can be taken either through the taxi app or in the cab.
Another matter being considered by a lot of local authorities in London is how the city’s taxi service can be catered into mobility-as-a-service stratagem. The incorporation of transport promoted by a lot of councils is viewed as an important test to the car ownership model.
In relation to this topic, the use of taxi apps results to an industry that sometimes operates for the providers’ convenience as much as for commuters. Customers see the effects of this in erratic availability, high charges or discrepancies and indifferent service.
Uber in some ways became disruptive. It could hugely heighten the availability of taxis by letting people who have acceptable rides and the want to augment their incomes to offer a service. It can initiate dynamic pricing as well as a way of evening out demand – charging higher at peak times and less in off-peak times. It offers real-time information on cars’ location.
Meanwhile, London taxi service is regulated for the right reasons – the main reason is passenger safety. A world wherein anyone with a car in the city could pick up passengers anytime from their homes or from the streets is not something most people would face.