Uber partners with London cabs after years of contention

Riders can now opt to request a ride via Uber app to get an estimate of fares
The image displays the logo of Uber. — Uber
The image displays the logo of Uber. — Uber

Uber, the ride-hailing company, has announced to collaborate with London’s iconic black taxicabs, which lets drivers choose to access Uber trip referrals.

Riders will now have the option to request a ride via the Uber app to get an estimate of the ride’s cost.

Despite rifts in the past between Uber and local taxi groups, taxi drivers in Paris, New York, Rome and dozens more major cities have begun taking trips through partnerships with Uber, CNN reported.

While the service is scheduled to be launched next year, the company said the first London cab drivers have already signed up.

“Black Cabs are an iconic part of the capital, loved by Londoners and visitors alike, and we are proud to work side by side,” said Andrew Brem, the general manager of Uber UK, in a statement.

Dating back to 1865, taxi drivers have been required to pass an exam called "the Knowledge," which involves memorising the fastest routes through London's intricate traffic network, along with countless prominent landmarks and streets.

However, with the advent of Uber, drivers for the app could simply rely on the app's navigation systems.

Uber made its debut in London in 2012, triggering swift growth that sparked resentment from the traditional black cab taxi industry in the city.

Over time, black cab drivers implemented several government-endorsed updates to compete with Uber, including the mandatory acceptance of card payments in 2016.

Hameed Hameedi, the first London cab driver to sign up with the Uber partnership in London, said, “A lot has changed since Uber first came to London, and I know lots of cabbies who first started as Uber drivers,”

Clearing The Knowledge test in 2015, he added that he welcomes app bookings because he doesn’t have to “miss any time searching on the streets for the next job.” More passengers booking trips also means “more cash for cabbies,” Hameedi remarked.