Taxi News Roundup - April 2016
Uber launches in Cardiff
After much rumour and speculation, last month finally saw Uber launch in Cardiff. The official launch took place on the 22nd of April, following on from a week of driver registrations. However, despite registrations taking place a week earlier, potential drivers were kept in the dark about the actual date the service would roll out, only being informed via text message before the day before the launch. Uber received its license to operate in Cardiff earlier this year, making the city Uber’s 18th operating location in the UK.
London cabs remove card fees
Passengers hailing a cab in London will soon no longer have to pay a premium for paying by card, after a Transport for London announced new regulations removing card fees.
Speaking on behalf of Transport for London, Chief Operating Officer Garrett Emmerson stated “We are pleased to be able to reduce the cost for taxi passengers paying by card, as people now use them in every aspect of their lives. The acceptance of these kinds of payments in all taxis from October will be a huge plus for Londoners, visitors, and drivers”.
To compensate drivers for the cost incurred from accepting card payments, TfL says that the cost of a minimum fare will rise by 20p to £2.60 when the regulations come into force this October.
Singapore set to launch fully autonomous taxi service
Singapore is set to break world records, after a start-up producing “driverless” taxis was granted a license to trial its service in the city state. The announcement comes thanks to software company nuTonomy, who have collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create what is being hailed as one of the world's first fully autonomous taxi vehicles. A small fleet of these vehicles was trialed in Singapore back in March, and after passing a “driving test” with no collisions nuTonomy was granted permission to apply for further testing in the city state's One North district, which is specifically designated for autonomous vehicle testing.
Although further tests need to take place before a full license to operate is granted, nuTonomy's CTO Emilio Frazzoli says he envisions the company operating a fleet of thousands in the city in the very near future.
Uber Manchester team up with Parklife festival
Organisers of Manchester’s Parklife have announced that this year’s event will see a partnership with Uber, in a bid to tackle unlicensed cab activity around the festival. Councillor Alan Quinn has stated that the plan will provide a safer option for festival goers looking to get home. Speaking to This Is Lancashire, Quinn stated that “We have had complaints in the past about private hire vehicles not going through the operator and picking up illegally. Parklife will be working with Uber Taxis, which is safer for revelers because no money changes hands.” Quinn also stated that police will be on site to monitor taxi activity, and ensure that any private hire vehicles around the site are operating under license.