Uber is continuing its growth in the UK which could be good news for other firms and taxi drivers who are being added to its ride-sharing app.
As well as booking a ride with an UberX or UberXL driver, the Local Cab option gives passengers the option to select another private hire firm to make the journey.
Last month, it was announced that Uber is adding a further five independent operators to the scheme, which will now cover another eight areas. This makes the Local Cab option available in 88 towns, cities and regions.
Booking private hire taxis through an app has become the norm for many people and the Local Cab expansion is good news for other taxi operators at a time when demand for taxis is back to pre-pandemic levels in most places, and, although driver numbers are increasing, there is still a shortage across the fleet.
One of the big attractions for passengers is that the process is the same as booking an Uber ride. They enter details about the trip and choose the Local Cab from the drop-down menu.
They receive an estimate from a local cab firm and if it is accepted by the passenger, their contact details are sent to the local cab operator to confirm the booking and the driver will come to the passenger’s location, given through the app.
Details of the driver and vehicle will appear in the Uber app as usual, as well as the driver’s ETA and the local operator’s number, in case of any issues. The drivers are vetted and licenced by their local council and must have private hire insurance.
Payments are made through the Uber app in the usual way. The local cab operator sets the cost of the trip and Uber takes a ‘small service fee’ for each trip.
Among the new operators are 001 Royal Cabs, which covers Milton Keynes and Buckingham, Five Star Taxis in Gloucester and Cheltenham, A&B Cabs in Leicester, and Cabpro, which covers Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead.
Muhammad Haroon, director at Cabpro, told TaxiPoint: “We’re pleased to be working alongside Uber to improve the ride-hailing experience for our customers.
“Demand for taxi trips continues to grow across Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, so we’re confident that the Local Cab product will be a welcome addition, making travel easier for both drivers and passengers.
“We’re now able to provide our drivers with new job opportunities, and new streams of income, which we hope will boost our own recruitment drive and help us to expand our fleet in months to come.
“And for those booking taxis with us, it’s now easier than ever to secure a ride in minutes and get around the local area quickly.”
The addition of Local Cabs has also been a boost for Uber, helping it reach more passengers and taking them where they want to go.
Andrew Brem, General Manager at Uber UK, said: “The success of Local Cab in towns and cities across the country has been great to see, and we’re thrilled that it’s now being made available to across Berkshire.
“Delivering the best transport options to passengers remains our top priority, as well as boosting local economies and creating new earning opportunities for drivers.
“Riders can now book a trip with a local operator via Local Cab, or opt for the usual in-app alternatives such as UberX and Uber XL.”
While Uber and private hire taxi businesses are traditionally seen as competitors, collaborations such as this can benefit everyone from taxi drivers to passengers.
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