At the end of this month Uber won’t have a license in London. Is this such a bad thing?
Anyone who knows me, knows I’m all for new tech and ideas, but I don’t think Uber is needed in London, or a good thing. The concept of Uber is brilliant and in many places it’s very much a welcome alternative to the traditional cab office, but no, not in London.
London’s Black Cabs are not only iconic, but an essential part of London. The drivers complete the grueling task of the “the knowledge” and consequently know every nook and cranny of the capital, finding better routes than any Google Maps algorithm could ever muster.
Tourists and locals alike can rely on a cab to get them where they need to be safely and quickly. Most cabs take cards now and then there’s the brilliant Gett taxi app for summoning one to wherever you are whenever you want it. The same app even gives you an estimated fare that you can elect to have as your fixed fare. That’s the fancy tech benefits of Uber covered.
I’m not part of the London Taxi union, but I get why the “cabbies” don’t like Uber, why would they. I think it’s a good thing that TfL have revoked Uber’s license. The lack of driver checks and what not are a disgrace and yes, while you may save a few quid on a ride home, in the long-term we may see a decline in the iconic black cabs that form part of the London landscape and provide such and insanely good service, a service that is unique in the world.
I use the Gett app everytime I’m back in London, even used it to get a black cab to the hospital when Robin was on his way. Would I trust an Uber in London the same way? No chance.
Now for those who love Uber, note that I’m not bashing the whole business. I now live and work in Leeds and Uber is very much a welcome addition up here, Leeds is a fantastic city, but of course it doesn’t have the epic public transport setup like London and not the same amount of taxis around either. Uber in Leeds is a handy and convenient alternative to calling a cab office and trying to explain where you need to be picked up, while fumbling pockets to find some of that old fashioned paper currency. No thank you, Uber via the app, paid via ApplePay is a no-brainer.
London on the other hand has the best public transport service, great apps like Citymapper which make getting around fun and easy and then the best cabs you’ll find anywhere in the world and you can get one to wherever you are and pay via the brilliant Gett app. Is Uber needed? No, it’s really not, I can’t see what it brings to the greatest City. Farewell Uber, London is tired of you.
If you disagree with me and want Uber to remain in London, make sure you sign the petition, it may help. But in the meantime, get the Gett taxi app and Citymapper then next time you need to hail a taxi, remind yourself how special it is.
Image via InasiaJones