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Uber

I use Uber very often in the US since its far better to use than a taxi. Is Uber recommended in London?

Posted by
11368 posts

No. We were there last summer and there was a campaign against Uber. It may even have lost it's license to do business so don't count on it. Get an Oyster card and use the Tube.

Posted by
408 posts

I assume by "far better to use than a taxi" you mean as long as there is no accident involving injury to passengers, no damage to passengers' belongings, and no consequential damages associated with an Uber driver's timeliness, or lack thereof.

Posted by
32265 posts

Except during rush hour, I've found that it's usually quick and easy to get around using the Tube and no delays for traffic. I also tend to use the black Cabs when required, as the drivers are exceptional. I doubt that Uber drivers have "the knowledge" so may not be as efficient. I'd be curious to know whether Uber drivers have an exemption for the congestion charge?

Posted by
5382 posts

Uber in London operate as one of many licenced private hire vehicle companies, often referred to in London as minicabs, whatever the actual size is of the vehicle. Their status is under appeal so they can continue to operate whilst due process takes it course.

PHVs licenced in London are exempt from the congestion charge when on hire.

Posted by
3580 posts

I take taxis in London. It's easy to hail a taxi even one going the wrong direction. I think the fares are reasonable and honest. Many drivers like to chat. My second choice is a bus if it's going where I want to go.

Posted by
9862 posts

The quality and professionalism of taxi drivers in London far exceeds that of taxi drivers in most American cities (or most anywhere, I'd wager). London black cabs are well kept and clean -- not always the case in American cities, which is why Uber has proved so possible there. In other words, the "taxi" product being offered in London is superior to that offered in most American cities, so Uber brings fewer advantages.

Posted by
4012 posts

Hopefully Lyft will come to London soon. I dropped Uber for Lyft a long time ago.

From November 2016 to November 2017, executives at Uber’s main U.S.
rival, Lyft Inc., met with TfL seven times, most recently with an
October phone call between TfL Managing Director Leon Daniels and Lyft
Head of Global Policy Mike Masserman to discuss the Mayor of London’s
transport strategy. While both sides won’t elaborate on matters
discussed, these meetings are typically designed to pave the way for
doing business in the U.K. capital. Previous entrants have spent time
forging ties to London regulators before submitting transportation
licenses.

“We regularly talk to companies around the world about innovation that
could improve transport in London," TfL’s Hurwitz said in a statement.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-08/uber-s-rivals-muscle-in-to-lure-passengers-regulators-in-europe

Posted by
32265 posts

Marco,

Thanks for the clarification on how the congestion charge is applied to Uber drivers. Uber seems to be having increasing problems in many locales, including Italy and I've heard that they're completely banned in some countries.

We're currently dealing with the Uber / ride hailing question here in B.C. The government has convened an all-party committee to study the issue and legislation to allow this type of service will likely be introduced sometime this spring. At the moment they're not permitted to operate although several services have been operating "under the radar" in the Vancouver area, often those based in China. As soon as the government learned of the scofflaws, they cracked down and a number of drivers were issued $1150.00 tickets.

I have a feeling that Uber, Lyft, etc. are not going to be happy with the rules that they'll have to follow here, as they're going to be heavily regulated, drivers will have to undergo an RCMP criminal record check and their vehicles will have to be thoroughly inspected and certified annually. Each of those requirements have fees attached, so they'll have to haul a lot of passengers to break even. The government is also trying to keep the Taxi industry happy, so they're walking a fine line.