Black cabs to accept contactless payments
London cabs are going to start accepting contactless payments, in a bid to take on/keep up with Uber. The Mayor of London and Transport for London are invariably going to approve this in the new year. Meanwhile, the rest of the country couldn't care less.
"This move will boost business for cabbies and bring the trade into the 21st century by enabling quicker and more convenient journeys for customers,” said Boris Johnson.
Customers won't pay a surcharge on their fare if they pay by card, and instead, cabbies will recoup their transaction costs through a proposed 20p increase on the minimum fare, which is currently £2.40. All Uber need to do is undercut that, and they're golden.
"Mandating card payments in taxis will mean customers no longer have to consider how they might pay for a journey before getting into a taxi. It will also benefit drivers, who will see their services opened up to potential new business," said Garrett Emmerson at TfL.
Of course, private hire firms already agree fares in advance, and Uber will tell you on your phone and it comes straight off your card without any fussing about with contactless payments, actual money, or anything like that. And, despite arguments from many quarters, the High Court ruled last month that Uber is not breaking the law.
Whether you agree with Uber or not, the rest of the taxi world has some catching up to do.