Uber app offers olive branch to protesting London cabbies with UberTAXI option

Uber app offers olive branch to protesting London cabbies with UberTAXI option
Uber's move is unlikely to calm the cabbies

Uber, the smartphone-based ride-hailing and ride-sharing service that has London taxi drivers in uproar, has attempted to reach a peaceful compromise by allowing users to book a black cab through its app.

The new UberTAXI option, which sits alongside the company's uberX, EXEC and LUX services, will allow users to arrange and pay for the iconic London cabs via their Uber account.

The new service tier will charge the same rates as Transport for London dictates for metred black taxis, while the firm will charge a 5 per cent commission, a fee that'll be eaten by drivers not customers.

Uber will hope the perceived 'olive branch' will help to calm the tensions between it and the Licensed Taxi Driver's Association.


Protesting cabbies brought hours of disruption to the capital on Wednesday with a strike to protest against Uber muscling in on their turf.

The drivers' beef stems from the lack of regulation for Uber, who's drivers don't need a license or to pass 'The Knowledge' exams in to operate in the capital

Uber's Jo Bertram wrote on the company's blog on Wednesday: "We recognise the unique heritage and value of traditional black cabs when it comes to getting around. UberTAXI is another way of using technology to offer more choice, making life simpler and keeping London moving."

Either way, the protests don't seem to have done Uber any harm, with CNBC reporting sign ups have jumped up 850 per cent compared with last week.

Via Engadget

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.