Skip to Content

Uber announces partnership with London’s iconic black cab taxis

<i>Victoria Jones/PA Images/Getty Images</i><br/>A queue of black cabs outside Victoria Station in London in November 2020. Once bitter rivals fighting for control of London’s streets
Victoria Jones/PA Images/Getty Images
A queue of black cabs outside Victoria Station in London in November 2020. Once bitter rivals fighting for control of London’s streets

By Catherine Thorbecke, CNN

(CNN) — Once bitter rivals fighting for control of London’s streets, Uber and the British capital’s iconic black cab taxis are now teaming up.

Uber on Tuesday announced a new partnership with London’s black cab taxis that will let cab drivers opt in to gain access to Uber trip referrals. Riders, meanwhile, can tap a button and specifically request a ride in one of the so-called hackney carriages via the Uber app — and get an upfront estimate on pricing.

Uber said the first London cab drivers have already signed up, and service will roll out early next year.

“Black Cabs are an iconic part of the capital, loved by Londoners and visitors alike, and we are proud to work side by side,” said Andrew Brem, the general manager of Uber UK, in a statement.

Uber’s road to partnering with taxis in London has been notably rocky. Uber first arrived in London in 2012, and its rapidly growing business quickly drew ire from the traditional black cab taxi industry in the city. Black cab drivers over the years implemented a handful of government-backed updates to compete with Uber, such as making it a requirement to accept card payments in 2016.

Uber has also faced a lengthy legal battle in London with city transport regulators, who briefly tried to strip the ride-hailing firm of its license to operate in 2017 and then again in 2019. In both instances, Uber appealed the decisions and was eventually granted permission to continue operating.

Many Londoners, meanwhile, take unique pride in the city’s black cab taxi service. As far back as 1865, taxi drivers were required to pass an exam known as “the Knowledge,” and memorize the quickest routes through London’s complicated traffic network, as well as thousands of landmarks and streets. When Uber drivers arrived on the scene, however, drivers for the app could simply rely on the app’s navigation systems.

As of this year, some 15,100 licensed taxis continue circling London, compared to 89,600 private hire vehicles, according to government data.

“A lot has changed since Uber first came to London, and I know lots of cabbies who first started out as Uber drivers,” Hameed Hameedi, the first London cab driver to sign up with the Uber partnership in London, said in a statement.

Hameedi completed the Knowledge in 2015, and added that he welcomes app bookings because he doesn’t have to “miss any time searching on the streets for the next job.” More passengers booking trips also means “more cash for cabbies,” Hameedi added.

The partnership in London comes a little over a year after Uber announced that it struck a deal on the other side of the pond to list New York City’s iconic yellow cab taxis on its app.

Despite deep strife in the past between Uber and local taxi groups, as of this year taxi drivers in Paris, New York, Rome and dozens more major cities are now taking trips through partnerships with Uber.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Business/Consumer

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newssource


KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content