Taxi drivers are very unhappy about Uber

Bitterwallet - taxi fares around the world This weekend, you may have seen a load of taxis doing the rounds, with 'Uber' branding on them. They're doing a big push to get our attentions, directing us toward their new service which is Taxis For The Mobile Generation.

Basically, you download an app and you can request a ride on your phone as well as being able to split your fare, get a quote, rate drivers and read reviews and more. It's a new way of getting a cab and, the other taxi drivers are not at all happy about it.

Uber allows drivers to start their own businesses without all the training and and licenses and you detect a driver's whereabouts thanks to GPS and the driver comes to find you by using the GPS on your phone. No money changes hands either - once you complete your journey, the fare is automatically charged to your credit card on file and you get a receipt emailed to you.

It has been reported that over 10,000 London taxi drivers are planning a mass protest over Uber, with Steve McNamara - the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association’s general secretary - saying that the problem with the app is that it allows drivers to work as a taxi without having to follow the same rules as other services, which gives them an unfair advantage.

He says: "All we’re saying is if you want to come to London and operate the business model you’re operating, you should operate within our laws."

"For me to persuade 10,000 guys to take a day off work shows you the strength of feeling," he added. "They’re not a commercial threat to us. It’s a sense of fair play."

Over in France, they weren't happy about Uber either, with Francois Hollande going after them (unsuccessfully) and cabbies staging a protest where they blocked traffic from airports. In Belgium, those using the app are subject to a €10,000 fine.

This is definitely going to be something that people will disagree on. On one hand, it does seem unfair that the UK's existing cab drivers had to get licenses and meters and all that, with this new lot not having to bother. On the other hand, taxi firms already feel a bit lawless as it is, so how would Uber be any different for the consumer?

What do you think?


  • jim
    to be honest those black cab drivers are a rip off - charge way too much. plus they drive like tools - "King of the road" merchants
  • Alix P.
    I use this app, and think it's great! It allows for a whole new level of safety in a traditionally potentially unsafe business, by being able to check reviews and driver location. The app's automatic online payment system also eradicates the risk to drivers of passengers who fail to pay or run off at the end of the journey. I believe it's just a matter of time until there is a similar system for all taxis, perhaps this is just the beginning of a small revolution in the sector. Other drivers shouldn't be complaining, they should be working to match this new improved system!
  • No c.
    Black cabs are cunts and way overpriced!
  • The T.
    These protests are nothing to do with the elimination of the cash in hand fare oh no.. Cabbies always claim business is slow yet manage to swan round Portugal playing golf six months of the year.
  • Name
    Uber drivers are licensed minicab drivers so they are somewhat following the rules. The legal question is whether the use of the Uber app to charge based on mileage traveled should be called a metered journey, as only black cabs are allowed to charge via a meter. Obviously black cabs believe that it is as they currently enjoy a government-enforced monopoly but it's likely that this will be tested in court at some point. While the black cabs offer a very good service (at a hefty price), if Uber continues then the people who travel in London will be the winners.
  • JMAN
    "Uber drivers are licensed minicab drivers" Erm no they are not. Essentially as long as you have the app and a nice enough car you can use this app. There are no person checks, vehicle checks...etc. No knowledge of the local area.You could be getting in touch with anyone. And your right about black cabs being expensive but then Uber have something called Price Surge. This essentially means if the demand outstrips the supply then your fare is going up drastically. Enjoy
  • Name
    Uber drivers MUST be licensed minicab drivers otherwise they are not allowed to drive people for money. Here's the link to show that Uber drivers in London must be PCO registered:
  • JMAN
    Makes a change then, when I looked at it 6 months ago the rules didn't seem that stringent!
  • Ricardo
    I used to use Uber until I got price surged, which is Ubers polite way of ripping you off! 3 times the normal fare because it was raining! I got a black cab back £9 going with Uber was £30!! Never again, they may be cheap some time but they rip you off at the first opportunity. Imagine what would happen if all the black cabs and other minicabs were forced out of business by Uber. We would be paying more than ever they could rip us off all the time>
  • James H.
    Cabbies are scared of a healthy bit of competition. Uber gives you £20 free to sign up and then is usually a lot cheaper. Price surge takes into account unusual situations where demand is high, it doesn't come into effect most days and as Uber gets more popular then the need to surge should be reduced.

What do you think?

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