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The future of the Taxi

You may remember in early February of this year 8000 black cabs brought central London to a standstill, all in protest of an unfair market. To put it simply, the market is unfair because of Uber or at least that’s what a lot of cabby's think. So is this the beginning of a new era for Taxis?

Uber is an app you can download for free on IOS and Android devices. In this app you effectively order a taxi to pick you up from your location and you define where you want to be dropped off. A near-by driver then accepts your ride and will come to pick you up. The app will show you how far away they are and you can watch them come to your location. They then take you to the location you asked to be dropped off at and get out, all that’s left to do is rate the driver and then the app will automatically take the funds from your account so there is no need for you to rummage around for cash. The driver will also rate you for other divers if you wish to use the service again. A simple service that’s very effective.

The driver isn’t necessarily in a traditional black cab as they can use their own car so you might get a nice new Mercedes come and pick you up or maybe a hatchback Toyota. Some drivers aim to make their service as amazing as possible offering mints, latest newspapers and water in the back of their car.

Most recently Reading Borough Council’s licensing committee turned down an application by Thomas Elvidge on behalf of Uber Britannia for a private hire operating licence. So Reading won't be getting Uber any time soon and it is possible that other towns and cities will follow in their footsteps.

Their three main points for turning the application down were:

  • there was insufficient evidence of demand
  • no clear evidence about the number of vehicles that would be operating in Reading
  • no clear indication of how or by whom the Uber office would be manned
Another point they were keen to bring up was that they would congest streets by parking wherever available waiting to accept another job.

An Uber spokesperson said after the meeting: “Uber has been granted more than 40 operator licences by local councils across the country so we’re extremely surprised and disappointed by last night’s decision."

“In every town and city we operate we bring new economic opportunities for people who want to be their own boss and make money by being a licensed private hire driver. Millions of people across the UK regularly use Uber to get a convenient, safe and affordable ride at the push of a button."

“We remain convinced there’s real demand for Uber in Reading as more than 22,000 people in the town have opened our app in the last 90 days alone.”

Do you think you would use Uber if it were available in your town? Would you want to be an Uber driver?