Controversial transport service Uber has risked incurring the wrath of London’s black cab community once again, by announcing a significant price drop.
From today, Londoners using the Uber app to book a basic journey will pay 15 per cent less for the privilege. The company has also dropped the minimum fare from £6 to £5.
“BREAKING: London commuters face 15% fare decrease. Starting tomorrow!” the @Uber_LDN account tweeted on Thursday.
The startup’s fancier options, the UberEXEC and UberLUX cars, will remain at the same price, but that’ll be little consolation to the taxi drivers who feel their livelihoods are under threat.
London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) held protests across the Capital in June when 10,000 drivers aimed to cause gridlock around the city by driving slowly around Trafalgar Square.
The body representing the cabbies believe the way Uber drivers calculate their precise fares, using smartphone GPS, constitutes a taximeter.
Importantly, Transport for London disagrees with that assertion because there’s no physical connection between the smartphone and the car. As a result, Uber has been ruled legal and cleared to go about its business in the same way.
Taxi drivers argue the lack of a requirement for drivers to be licensed cuts into their business and undermines the notoriously difficult Knowledge exams black cab drivers have to take in order to operate in London.
This price drop is unlikely to improve their collective mood.
On Thursday, the company announced it had reached 24 new markets, bringing the total to 205 cities in 45 countries on 6 continents. Is there any stopping it?