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London tube strike: Uber hikes fares, Hailo demand skyrockets

Capital-dwellers amongst you might be grim-faced this morning thanks to the London tube strike, but it’s smiles all round at Uber and Hailo.

That’s because both app-based taxi firms are making serious bank off the calamity caused by a 24-hour shuttering of London’s Underground rail network.

Uber kicked off proceedings late last night with a price surge of 2.9; that is to say, the charge to use an Uber taxi nearly trebled.

The company is trying to reduce the strain on the system naturally, however, offering the following advice: “Do your bit for your fellow Londoner: share your journey with a friend or colleague.”

It continues: “There are a whole three seats going spare if it’s just you and your driver travelling.”

Fortunately for passengers, Uber’s app has a built-in fare-splitting option that makes it easy to spread the financial burden of a given journey. Sharing is caring, folks.

Related: Best Android Apps 2015

Hailo is also enjoying the fiscal benefits of today’s industrial action, reporting a 500 per cent increase in pre-booked Hailo taxis.

According to the company, demand is “more than double” last New Year’s Eve, and customer registrations have gone up by 174 per cent compared to the average week.

It’s handling the strain well however, as it reports an estimated average time for cabs arriving yesterday as four minutes and one second.

“Our aim is to help people get around London, no matter what,” explains Hailo CMO Gary Bramall. “Tube strikes are disruptive for everyone and we want to be here for Londoners and help them get from A to B in the quickest and easiest way possible.”

He continues: “We’re doing our best to ensure our fleet of 15,000 trusted black cab drivers are available to help our customers navigate around London. The best way for customers to ensure peace of mind commuting to work and attending meetings is to use Hailo pre-book during the strike.”

Of course, if you want to use Uber or Hailo you’ll need a smartphone first, so here’s our group test of some of the best handsets in 2015:

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